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THE   CONTRAST. 


2?Ji51LiiWD. 


KiF-JlST, 


'Look  here  upon  this  picture,       and  on  this' 


"Tbe  counterfeil  presentment  of  'two'  sov'reigns" 

Shakespeare 


Reproduced  from  a  Contemporary  Cartoon  ol  1837 


COLLECTIONS    AND 
RECOLLECTIONS 

By 

ONE  WHO  HAS,  KEPT 
A    DIARY 

"Hi»  lameness  prevented  his  taking  much 
exercise;  but  a  mind  of  usefulness  and  ingenuity 
seemed  to  furnish  him  with  constant  em- 
ployment within." — Jane  Austen,  Persuasion 


HAKPER  &  BROTHERS  PUBLISHERS 

NEW    YORK     AND     LONDON 
1903 


Copyright,  1898,  by  Haepkr  &  Beothrb«. 

AU  HglUt  reiervti. 


THE   MOST   GENIAL   OF   COMPANIONS 

JAMES  PAYN 

AT  WHOSE  SUGGESTION  THESE  PAPERS  WERE  WRITTEN 
AND  TO  WHOM  THEY  WERE  INSCRIBED 

D(eJ»  /Bbarcb  25,  1898 


Is  he  gone  to  a  land  of  no  laughter — 

This  man  that  made  mirth  for  us  all? 
Proves  Death  but  a  silence  hereafter, 

Where  the  echoes  of  Earth  cannot  fall? 
Once  closed,  have  the  lips  no  more  duty? 

No  more  pleasure  the  exquisite  ears? 
Has  the  heart  done  o'erflowing  with  beauty, 
As  the  eyes  have  with  tears? 

Nay,  if  aught  be  sure,  what  can  be  surer 
Than  that  earth's  good  decays  not  with  earth? 

And  of  all  the  heart's  springs  none  are  purer 
Than  the  spring  of  the  fountains  of  mirth? 

He  that  sounds  them  has  pierced  the  heart's  hollow, 
The  places  where  tears  are  and  sleep  ; 

For  the  foam-flakes  that  dance  in  life's  shallows 
Are  wrung  from  life's  deep. 

J.  Rhoasbb 


NOTE 

These  Papers  appeared  in  the  MancTiester  Guardian  during 
the  year  1897,  and  are  here  reproduced  by  the  kind  permission  of 
Mr.  C.  P.  Scott,  M.P.  It  has  not  been  thought  necessary  to  alter 
some  phrases  which  imply  that  they  were  published  periodically. 

The  Papers  are  exactly  what  the  title  implies.  They  con- 
sist in  part  of  traditions  and  anecdotes  which  the  writer  has 
collected  from  people  and  books ;  in  part  of  incidents  which 
he  personally  recollects.  With  respect  to  the  traditional  part, 
the  usual  crop  of  contradictions  and  disproofs  may  be  anticipated, 
and  may  also  be  disregarded.  Except  in  his  own  Recollections, 
the  writer  does  not  vouch  for  accuracy,  but  only  "tells  the  tale 
as  'twas  told  to  him."  Some  of  the  Links  with  the  Past  on  which 
he  relied  have  been  snapped  by  death  while  the  pages  were  passing 
through  the  press. 

Easter,  1898. 


CONTENTS 


PAai 
I.  Links  with  the  Past 1 

n.  Lord  Russell 9 

III.  Lord  Shaftesbury 19 

IV.  Cardinal  Manning 31 

V.  Lord  Houghton 44 

VI.  Religion  and  Morality 53 

VII.  Social  Equalization 66 

VIII.  Social  Amelioration 75 

IX.  The  Evangelical  Influence 84 

X.  Politics 93 

XI.  Parliamentary  Oratory 107 

XII.  Parliamentary  Oratory 117 

XIII.  Conversation 126 

XIV.  Conversation 134 

XV.  Conversation 142 

XVI.  Conversation 150 

XVII.  Clergymen 157 

XVIII.  Clergymen 165 

XIX.  Repartee .  173 

XX.  Titles 188 

XXI.  The  Queen's  Accession 199 

XXII.  "Princedoms,  Virtues,  Powers" 210 

XXIII.  Lord  Beaconsfield 217 

XXIV.  Flatterers  and  Bores 226 

XXV.  Epitaphs 233 

XXVI.  Advertisements 248 


CONTENTS 

PAGE 

XXVII.  Parodies  in  Prose 252 

XXVIII.  Parodies  in  Verse 263 

XXIX.  Parodies  in  Verse 278 

XXX.  Verbal  Infelicities 292 

XXXI.  The  Art  of  Putting  Things 309 

XXXII.  Children 319 

XXXIII.  Letter- writing 327 

XXXIV.  Officialdom 339 

XXXV.  An  Old  Photograph-book 358 

Index 369 


The  Contrast i^-ontispu 


itece 


COLLECTIONS  AND  KECOLLECTIONS 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 


LIKKS   WITH  THE   PAST 


.   never  can  remember  which  came  first,  the 
the  Romans."     In  my  walk  thronarh  life  I  hav 


Of  the  celebrated  Mrs.  Disraeli  her  husband  is  report- 
ed to  have  said  :  "  She  is  an  excellent  creature,  but  she 

Greeks  or 
my  walk  through  life  I  have  constant- 
ly found  myself  among  excellent  creatures  of  this  sort. 
The  world  is  full  of  vague  people,  and  in  the  average  man, 
and  still  more  in  the  average  woman,  the  chronological 
sense  seems  to  be  entirely  wanting.  Thus,  when  I  have 
occasionally  stated  in  a  mixed  company  that  my  first 
distinct  recollection  was  the  burning  of  Covent  Garden 
Theatre,  I  have  seen  a  general  expression  of  surprised 
interest,  and  have  been  told,  in  a  tone  meant  to  be  kind 
and  complimentary,  that  my  hearers  would  hardly  have 
thought  that  my  memory  went  back  so  far.  The  expla- 
nation has  been  that  these  excellent  creatures  had  some 
vague  notions  of  Rejected  Addresses  floating  in  their 
minds,  and  confounded  the  burning  of  Covent  Garden 
Theatre  in  1856  with  that  of  Drury  Lane  Theatre  in  1809. 
It  was  pleasant  to  feel  that  one  bore  one^s  years  so  well  as 
to  make  the  error  possible. 

But  events,  however  striking,  are  only  landmarks  in 
A  1 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

memory.  They  are  isolated  and  detached,  and  begin 
and  end  in  themselves.  The  real  interest  of  one's  early 
\  life  is  in  its  Links  with  the  Past,  through  the  old  people 
whom  one  has  known.  Though  I  place  my  first  distinct 
recollection  in  1856,  I  have  memories  more  or  less  hazy 
of  an  earlier  date. 

There  was  an  old  Lady  Robert  Seymour,  who  lived  in 
Portland  Place,  and  died  there  in  1855,  in  her  ninety- 
first  year.  Probably  she  is  my  most  direct  link  with  the 
past,  for  she  carried  down  to  the  time  of  the  Crimean  War 
the  habits  and  phraseology  of  Queen  Charlotte's  early 
Court.  "Goold"of  course  she  said  for  gold,  and '' yal- 
ler"for  yellow,  and  "laylock"  for  lilac.  She  laid  the 
stress  on  the  second  syllable  of  balcony.  She  called  her 
maid  her  "'ooman";  instead  of  sleeping  at  a  place,  she 
"lay"  there,  and  when  she  consulted  the  doctor  she 
spoke  of  having  "  used  the  'potticary." 

There  still  lives,  in  full  possession  of  all  her  faculties, 
a  venerable  lady  who  can  say  that  her  husband  was  born 
at  Boston  when  America  was  a  British  dependency.  This 
is  the  widow  of  Lord  Chancellor  Lyndhurst,  who  was 
born  in  1772,  and  helped  to  defeat  Mr.  Gladstone's  Paper 
Bill  in  the  House  of  Lords  on  his  eighty-eighth  birthday. 
He  died  in  18G2. 

A  conspicuous  figure  in  my  early  recollections  is  Sir 
Henry  Holland,  M.D.,  father  of  the  present  Lord  Knuts- 
ford.  He  was  born  in  1788,  and  died  in  1873.  The  sto- 
ries of  his  superhuman  vigor  and  activity  would  fill  a  vol- 
ume. In  1863  Bishop  Wilberforce  wrote  to  a  friend 
abroad;  "Sir  Henry  Holland,  who  got  back  safe  from 
all  his  American  rambles,  has  been  taken  by  Palmerstou 
through  the  river  at  Broadlands,  and  lies  very  ill."  How- 
ever, he  completely  threw  off  the  effects  of  this  mischance, 
and  survived  his  aquatic  host  for  some  eight  years.  I 
well  remember  his  telling  me  in  1868  that  his  first  famous 

2 


LINKS    WITH    THE    PAST 

patient  was  the  mysterious  ''Pamela/'  who  became  the 
wife  of  the  Irish  patriot,  Lord  Edward  Fitzgerald. 

Every  one  who  went  about  in  London  in  the  sixties 
and  seventies  will  remember  the  dyed  locks  and  crimson 
velvet  waistcoat  of  William,  fifth  Earl  Bathurst,  who  was 
born  in  1791  and  died  in  1878.  He  told  me  that  he  was 
at  a  private  school  at  Sunbury-on-Thames  with  William 
and  John  Russell,  the  latter  of  whom  became  the  author 
of  the  Reform  Bill  and  Prime  Minister.  At  this  delight- 
ful seminary,  the  peers'  sons,  including  my  informant, 
who  was  then  the  Hon.  William  Bathurst,  had  a  hench 
to  themselves.  William  and  John  Russell  were  not  peers' 
sons,  as  their  father  had  not  then  succeeded  to  the  Duke- 
dom of  Bedford.  In  1802  he  succeeded,  on  the  sudden 
death  of  his  elder  brother,  and  became  sixth  Duke  of 
Bedford  ;  and  his  sons,  becoming  Lord  William  and  Lord 
John,  were  duly  promoted  to  the  privileged  bench.  Noth- 
ing in  Pelliam  or  Vivian  Grey  quite  equals  this. 

When  I  went  to  Harrow,  in  18G7,  there  was  an  old  wom- 
an, by  name  Polly  Arnold,  still  keeping  a  stationer's  shop 
in  the  town,  who  had  sold  cribs  to  Byron  when  he  was  a 
Harrow  boy ;  and  Byron's  fag,  a  funny  old  gentleman  in 
a  brown  wig — called  Baron  Heath — was  a  standing  dish 
on  our  school  speech-day. 

Once  at  a  London  dinner  I  happened  to  mention  in 
the  hearing  of  Mrs.  Procter  (widow  of  "  Barry  Cornwall," 
and  mother  of  the  poetess)  that  I  was  going  next  day  to 
the  Harrow  speeches.  "Ah,"  said  Mrs.  Procter,  "that 
used  to  be  a  pleasant  outing.  The  last  time  I  went  I 
drove  down  with  Lord  Byron  and  Dr.  Parr,  who  had 
been  breakfasting  with  my  father."  Mrs.  Procter  died  in 
1888. 

Among  the  remarkable  women  of  our  time,  if  merely 
in  respect  of  longevity,  must  be  enumerated  Lady  Louisa 
Stuart,  sister  and  heir  of  the  last  Earl  of  Traquair.    She 

3 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

was  a  friend  and  correspondent  of  Sir  Walter  Scott, 
who,  in  describing  "  Tully  Veolan,"  drew  Traquair  House 
with  literal  exactness,  even  down  to  the  rampant  bears 
which  still  guard  the  locked  entrance-gates  against  all 
comers  until  the  Royal  Stuarts  shall  return  to  claim 
their  own.  Lady  Louisa  Stuart  lived  to  be  a  hundred, 
and  died  in  1876. 

Perhaps  the  most  remarkable  old  lady  whom  I  knew 
intimately  was  Caroline  Lowther,  Duchess  of  Cleveland, 
who  was  born  in  1792  and  died  in  1883.  She  had  been 
presented  to  Queen  Charlotte  when  there  were  only  forty 
people  at  the  drawing-room,  had  danced  with  the  Prince 
of  Orange,  and  had  attended  the  "breakfasts"  given 
by  Albinia  Countess  of  Buckinghamshire  (who  died  in 
1816),  at  her  villa  just  outside  London.  The  site  of  that 
villa  is  now  Hobart  Place,  having  taken  its  name  from 
that  of  the  Buckinghamshire  family  ;  and  under  the  trees 
of  its  orchard,  still  discoverable  in  the  back  gardens  of 
the  Hobart  Place  houses.  Sir  Hamilton  Seymour,  who 
lived  to  become  Ambassador  at  Vienna,  was  stopped  by 
a  highwayman  when  travelling  in  his  father's  carriage. 
He  died  in  1880 — certainly  a  good  link  with  the  past. 

Another  story  of  highway-robbery  which  excited  me 
when  I  was  a  boy  was  that  of  the  fifth  Earl  of  Berke- 
ley, who  died  in  1810.  He  had  always  declared  that 
any  one  might  without  disgrace  be  overcome  by  superior 
numbers,  but  that  he  would  never  surrender  to  a  single 
highwayman.  As  he  was  crossing  Hounslow  Heath  one 
night,  on  his  way  from  Berkeley  Castle  to  London,  his 
travelling-carriage  was  stopped  by  a  man  on  horseback, 
who  put  his  head  in  at  the  window  and  said  :  "  I  believe 
you  are  Lord  Berkeley  ?"  "I  am."  "I  believe  you  have 
always  boasted  that  you  would  never  surrender  to  a  sin- 
gle highwayman?"  "I  have."  *'Well,"  presenting  a 
pistol,  "I  am  a  single  highwayman,  and  I  say,  'Your 


LINKS    WITH    THE    TAST 

money  or  your  life/"  "Yon  cowardly  dog,"  said  Lord 
Berkeley,  *'do  you  think  I  can't  see  your  confederate 
skulking  behind  you  ?"  The  highwayman,  who  was  real- 
ly alone,  looked  hurriedly  round,  and  Lord  Berkeley  shot 
him  through  the  head.  I  asked  Lady  Caroline  Maxse 
(1803-1886),  who  was  born  a  Berkeley,  if  this  story  was 
true.  I  can  never  forget  my  thrill  when  she  replied  : 
"  Yes  ;  and  I  am  proud  to  say  that  I  am  that  man's 
daughter  \" 

Sir  Moses  Montefiore  was  born  in  1784,  and  died  in 
1885.  It  is  a  disheartening  fact  for  the  teetotalers  that 
he  had  drunk  a  bottle  of  port-wine  every  day  since  he 
grew  up.  He  had  dined  with  Lord  Nelson  on  board  his 
ship,  and  vividly  remembered  the  transcendent  beauty 
of  Lady  Hamilton.  The  last  time  Sir  Moses  appeared  in 
public  was,  if  I  mistake  not,  at  a  garden-party  at  Marl- 
borough House.  The  party  was  given  on  a  Saturday. 
Sir  Moses  was  restrained  by  religious  scruples  from  us- 
ing his  horses,  and  was,  of  course,  too  feeble  to  walk,  so 
he  was  conveyed  to  the  party  in  a  magnificent  sedan- 
chair.  That  was  the  only  occasion  on  which  I  have  seen 
such  an  article  in  use  in  London. 

When  I  began  to  go  out  in  London,  a  conspicuous  fig- 
ure in  dinner-society  and  on  Protestant  platforms  was 
Captain  Francis  Maude,  K.N.  He  was  born  in  1778,  and 
died  in  1886.  He  used  to  say :  "  My  grandfather  was 
twelve  years  old  when  Charles  II.  died."  And  so,  if 
pedigrees  may  be  trusted,  he  was.  Charles  II.  died  in 
1685.  Sir  Eobert  Maude  was  born  in  1673.  His  son, 
the  first  Lord  Hawarden,  was  born  in  1729,  and  Captain 
Francis  Maude  was  Lord  Hawarden's  youngest  son.  The 
year  of  his  death  (1886)  saw  also  the  disappearance  of  a 
truly  venerable  woman,  Mrs.  Hodgson,  mother  of  Kirk- 
man  and  Stewart  Hodgson,  the  well-known  partners  in 
Barings'  house.     Her  age  was  not  precisely  known,  but 

5 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

when  a  school -girl  in  Paris  she  had  seen  Robespierre 
execnted,  and  distinctly  recollected  the  appearance  of 
his  bandaged  face.  Her  grand  -  daughters,  Mr.  Stewart 
Hodgson's  children,  are  quite  young  women,  and  if  they 
live  to  the  age  which,  with  such  ancestry,  they  are  en- 
titled to  anticipate,  they  will  carry  down  into  the  mid- 
dle of  the  twentieth  century  the  account,  derived  from 
an  eye-witness,  of  the  central  event  of  the  French  Rev- 
olution. 

One  year  later,  in  1887,  there  died,  at  her  family  house 
in  St.  James's  Square,  Mrs.  Anne  Penelope  Hoare,  moth- 
er of  the  late  Sir  Henry  Hoare,  M.P.  She  recollected 
being  at  a  children's  party  when  the  lady  of  the  house 
came  in  and  stopped  the  dancing  because  news  had  come 
that  the  King  of  France  had  been  put  to  death.  Her 
range  of  conscious  knowledge  extended  from  the  execu- 
tion of  Louis  XVI.  to  the  Jubilee  of  Queen  Victoria.  So 
short  a  thing  is  history. 

Sir  Walter  Stirling,  Avho  was  born  in  1802  and  died  in 
1888,  was  a  funny  little  old  gentleman  of  ubiquitous  ac- 
tivity, running  about  London  with  a  brown  wig,  short 
trousers,  and  a  cotton  umbrella.  I  well  remember  his 
saying  to  me,  when  Mr.  Bradlaugh  was  committed  to 
the  Clock  Tower :  "  I  don't  like  this.  I  am  afraid  it  will 
mean  mischief.  I  am  old  enough  to  remember  seeing 
Sir  Francis  Burdett  taken  to  the  Tower  by  the  Sergeant- 
at-Arms  with  a  military  force.  I  saw  the  riot  then,  and 
I  am  afraid  I  shall  see  a  riot  again." 

In  the  same  year  (1888)  died  Mrs.  Thomson  Hankey, 
wife  of  a  former  M.P.  for  Peterborough.  Her  father, 
a  Mr.  Alexander,  was  born  in  1729,  and  she  had  inherited 
from  him  traditions  of  London  as  it  appeared  to  a  young 
Scotsman  in  the  year  of  the  decapitation  of  the  rebels 
after  the  rising  of  1745, 

One  of  the  most  venerable  and  interesting  figures  in 

6 


LINKS    WITH    THE    PAST 

London,  down  to  his  death  in  1891,  was  George  Thomas, 
sixth  Earl  of  Albemarle.  He  was  born  in  1799.  He 
had  played  bat-trap-and-ball  at  St.  Anne's  Hill  with  Mr. 
Fox,  and  shared  with  his  old  comrade  Sir  Thomas  Which- 
cote,  who  survived  him  by  a  few  months,  the  honor  of 
being  the  last  survivor  of  Waterloo.  A  man  whom  I  knew 
longer  and  more  intimately  than  any  of  those  whom  I 
have  described  was  the  late  Lord  Charles  James  Fox 
Kussell.  He  was  born  in  1807,  and  died  in  1894.  His 
father's  groom  had  led  the  uproar  of  London  servants 
which  in  the  last  century  damned  the  play  "  High  Life 
Below  Stairs."  He  remembered  a  Highlander  who  had 
followed  the  army  of  Prince  Charles  Edward  in  1745, 
and  had  learned  from  another  Highlander  the  Jacobite 
soldiers'  song : 

"I  would  I  were  at  Manchester, 
A-sitting  on  the  grass, 
And  by  my  side  a  bottle  of  wine, 
And  on  my  lap  a  lass." 

He  had  officiated  as  a  page  at  the  coronation  of  George 
IV.;  had  conversed  with  Sir  Walter  Scott  about  The 
Bride  of  Lammermoor  before  the  authorship  was  dis- 
closed ;  had  served  in  the  Blues  under  Ernest  Duke  of 
Cumberland ;  and  had  lost  his  way  in  trying  to  find  the 
newly  developed  quarter  of  London  called  Belgrave 
Square. 

Among  living  links,  I  hope  it  is  not  ungallant  to  enu- 
merate Lady  Georgiana  Grey,  only  surviving  child  of 

"That  Earl,  who  forced  his  compeers  to  be  just. 
And  wrought  in  brave  old  age  what  youth  had  planned ;" 

Lady  Louisa  Tighe,  who,  as  Lady  Louisa  Lennox,  buckled 
the  Duke  of  Wellington's  sword  when  he  set  out  from 
her  mother's  ball  at  Brussels  for  the  field  of  Waterloo ; 

7 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

and  Miss  Eliza  Smith,  of  Brighton,  the  vivacious  and 
evergreen  daughter  of  Horace  Smith,  who  wrote  Rejected 
Addresses.  But  these  admirable  and  accomplished  ladies 
hate  garrulity,  and  the  mere  mention  of  their  names  is  a 
signal  to  bring  these  disjointed  reminiscences  to  a  close. 


n 

LORD   RUSSELL 

These  chapters  are  founded  on  Links  with  the  Past. 
Let  me  now  describe  in  rather  fuller  detail  three  or  four 
remarkable  people  with  whom  I  had  more  than  a  cur- 
sory acquaintance,  and  who  allowed  me  for  many  years 
the  privilege  of  drawing  without  restriction  on  the  rich 
stores  of  their  political  and  social  recollections. 

First  among  these  in  point  of  date,  if  of  nothing  else, 
I  must  place  John  Earl  Eussell,  the  only  person  I  have 
ever  known  who  knew  Napoleon  the  Great.  Lord  Rus- 
sell— or,  to  give  him  the  name  by  which  he  was  most 
familiar  to  his  countrymen,  Lord  John  Russell  —  w^ 
born  in  1792,  and  when  I  first  knew  him  he  was  already 
old ;  but  it  might  have  been  said  of  him  with  perfect 
truth  that 

"Votiva  patuit  veluti  descripta  tabella 
Vita  senis." 

After  he  resigned  the  leadership  of  the  Liberal  party, 
at  Christmas,  1867,  Lord  Russell  spent  the  greater  part 
of  his  time  at  Pembroke  Lodge,  a  house  in  Richmond 
Park,  which  takes  its  name  from  Elizabeth  Countess 
of  Pembroke,  familiar  to  all  students  of  last  century's 
memoirs  as  the  object  of  King  George  IIFs  hopeless  and 
pathetic  love.  As  a  token  of  his  affection  the  King  al- 
lowed Lady  Pembroke  to  build  herself  a  "  lodge ''  in  the 
**vast  wilderness"  of  Richmond  Park,  amid  surround- 

9 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

ings  which  went  far  to  realize  Cowper's  idea  of  a ''  bound- 
less contiguity  of  shade." 

On  her  death,  in  1831,  Pembroke  Lodge  was  assigned 
by  William  IV.  to  his  son-in-law.  Lord  Erroll,  and  in 
1847  it  was  offered  by  the  Queen  to  her  Prime  Minister, 
Lord  John  Russell,  who  then  had  no  home  except  his 
house  in  Chesham  Place.  It  was  gratefully  accepted, 
for  indeed  it  had  already  been  coveted  as  an  ideal  resi- 
dence for  a  busy  politician  who  wanted  fresh  air,  and 
could  not  safely  be  far  from  the  House  of  Commons. 
As  years  went  on  Lord  John  spent  more  and  more  of 
his  time  in  this  delicious  retreat,  and  in  his  declining 
years  it  was  practically  his  only  home. 

A  quarter  of  a  century  ago  it  was  a  curious  and  inter- 
esting privilege  for  a  young  man  to  sit  in  the  trellised 
dining-room  of  Pembroke  Lodge,  or  to  pace  its  terrace- 
walk  looking  down  upon  the  Thames,  in  intimate  con- 
verse with  a  statesman  who  had  enjoyed  the  genial  so- 
ciety of  Mr.  Fox,  and  had  been  the  travelling  companion 
of  Lord  Holland,  had  corresponded  with  Tom  Moore, 
debated  with  Francis  Jeffrey,  and  dined  with  Dr.  Parr ; 
had  visited  Melrose  Abbey  in  the  company  of  Sir  Walter 
Scott,  and  criticized  the  acting  of  Mrs.  Siddons;  con- 
versed with  Napoleon  in  his  seclusion  at  Elba,  and  rid- 
den with  the  Duke  of  Wellington  along  the  lines  of 
Torres  Vedras. 

The  genius  of  John  Leech,  constantly  exercised  on 
the  subject  for  twenty  years,  has  made  all  students  of 
Punch  familiar  with  Lord  John  Eussell's  outward  as- 
pect. We  know  from  his  boyish  diary  that  on  his 
eleventh  birthday  he  was  "4  feet  2  inches  high  and 
3  stone  12  lb.  weight";  and  though,  as  time  went  on, 
these  extremely  modest  dimensions  were  slightly  ex- 
ceeded, he  was  an  unusually  short  man.  His  massive 
head  and  broad  shoulders  gave  him  when  he  sat  the 

10 


LORD    RUSSELL 

appearance  of  greater  size,  and  when  he  rose  to  his  feet 
the  diminutive  stature  caused  a  feeling  of  surprise. 

Sydney  Smith  declared  that  when  Lord  John  first 
contested  Devonshire  the  burly  electors  were  disap- 
pointed by  the  exiguity  of  their  candidate,  but  were 
satisfied  when  it  was  explained  to  them  that  he  had 
once  been  much  larger,  but  was  worn  away  by  the  anx- 
ieties and  struggles  of  the  Reform  Bill  of  1832.  Never 
was  so  robust  a  spirit  enshrined  in  so  fragile  a  form. 
He  inherited  the  miserable  legacy  of  congenital  weak- 
ness. Even  in  those  untender  days  he  was  considered 
too  delicate  to  remain  at  a  public  school.  It  was  thought 
impossible  for  him  to  live  through  his  first  session  of 
Parliament. 

When  he  was  fighting  the  Reform  Bill  through  the 
House  of  Commons  he  had  to  be  fed  with  arrowroot  by 
a  benevolent  lady  who  was  moved  to  compassion  by  his 
pitiful  appearance.  For  years  afterwards  he  was  liable 
to  fainting  fits,  had  a  wretched  digestion,  and  was  easil;^ 
upset  by  hot  rooms,  late  hours,  and  bad  air.  These  cir- 
cumstances, combined  with  his  love  of  domestic  life  and 
his  fondness  for  the  country,  led  him  to  spend  every 
evening  that  he  could  spare  in  his  seclusion  at  Pembroke 
Lodge,  and  consequently  cut  him  off,  very  much  to  his 
political  disadvantage,  fr«m  constant  and  intimate  asso- 
ciation with  official  colleagues  and  parliamentary  sup- 
porters. 

There  were  other  characteristics  which  enhanced  this 
unfortunate  impression  of  aloofness.  His  voice  had 
what  used  to  be  described  in  satirical  writings  of  the 
first  half  of  the  centnry  as  ''an  aristocratic  drawl/'  and 
his  pronunciation  was  archaic.  Like  other  high-bred 
people  of  his  time,  he  talked  of  "cowcumbers"  and 
"laylocks";  called  a  woman  an  '"ooman,"  and  was 
*'  much  obleeged  "  where  a  degenerate  age  is  content  to 

11 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

be  obliged.  The  frigidity  of  his  address  and  the  seem- 
ing stiffness  of  his  manner,  due  really  to  an  innate  and 
incurable  shyness,  produced,  even  among  people  who 
ought  to  have  known  him  well,  a  totally  erroneous  no- 
tion of  his  character  and  temperament.  To  Bulwer 
Lytton  he  seemed — 

"How  formed  to  lead,  if  not  too  proud  to  please! 
His  fame  would  fire  you,  but  his  manners  freeze. 
Like  or  dislike,  he  does  not  care  a  jot ; 
He  wants  your  vote,  but  your  affections  not ; 
Yet  human  hearts  need  sun  as  well  as  oats — 
So  cold  a  climate  plays  the  deuce  with  votes." 

It  must  be  admitted  that  in  some  of  the  small  social 
arts  which  are  so  valuable  an  equipment  for  a  political 
leader  Lord  John  was  funnily  deficient.  He  had  no 
memory  for  faces,  and  was  painfully  apt  to  ignore  his 
political  followers  when  he  met  them  beyond  the  walls 
of  Parliament.     Once,  staying  in  a  Scotch  country-house, 

he  found  himself  thrown  with  young  Lord  D ,  now 

Earl  of  S .     He  liked  the  young  man's  conversation, 

and  was  pleased  to  find  that  he  was  a  Whig.  When  the 
party  broke  up,  Lord  John  conquered  his  shyness  suffi- 
ciently to  say  to  his  new  friend  :  "Well,  Lord  D ,  I 

am  very  glad  to  have  made  your  acquaintance,  and  now 
yon  must  come  into  the  House  of  Commons  and  sup- 
port me  there."  "I  have  been  doing  that  for  the  last 
ten  years.  Lord  John,*'  was  the  reply  of  the  gratified 
follower. 

This  inability  to  remember  faces  was  allied  in  Lord 
John  with  a  curious  artlessness  of  disposition  which 
made  it  impossible  for  him  to  feign  a  cordiality  he  did 
not  feel.  Once,  at  a  concert  at  Buckingham  Palace, 
he  was  seen  to  get  up  suddenly,  turn  his  back  on  the 
Duchess  of  Sutherland,  by  whom  he  had  been  sitting, 

13 


LORD    RUSSELL 

walk  to  the  remotest  part  of  the  room,  and  sit  down  by 
the  Dachess  of  Inverness.  When  questioned  afterwards 
as  to  the  cause  of  his  unceremonious  move,  which  had 
the  look  of  a  quarrel,  he  said  :  "  I  could  not  have  sat 
any  longer  by  that  great  fire;  I  should  have  fainted." 

"Oh,  that  was  a  very  good  reason  for  moving ;  but  I 
hope  you  told  the  Duchess  of  Sutherland  why  you  left 
her." 

''  Well— no.  I  don't  think  I  did  that.  But  I  told  the 
Duchess  of  Inverness  why  I  came  and  sate  by  her  !" 

Thus  were  the  opportunities  of  paying  harmless  com- 
pliments recklessly  thrown  away. 

It  was  once  remarked  by  a  competent  critic  that 
"  there  have  been  ministers  who  knew  the  springs  of 
that  public  opinion  which  is  delivered  ready  digested 
to  the  nation  every  morning,  and  who  have  not  scrupled 
to  work  them  for  their  own  diurnal  glorification,  even 
although  the  recoil  might  injure  their  colleagues.  But^ 
Lord  Russell  has  never  bowed  the  knee  to  the  poten- 
tates of  the  press  ;  he  has  offered  no  sacrifice  of  invita- 
tions to  social  editors  ;  and  social  editors  have  accord- 
ingly failed  to  discover  the  merits  of  a  statesman  who  so 
little  appreciated  them  until  they  have  almost  made  the 
nation  forget  the  services  that  Lord  Russell  has  so  faith- 
fully and  courageously  rendered." 

Be  this  as  it  may,  there  is  no  doubt  that  the  old  Whig 
statesman  lacked  those  gifts  or  arts  which  make  a  man 
widely  popular  in  a  large  society  of  superficial  acquaint- 
ances. On  his  death-bed  he  said  with  touching  pathos, 
"  I  have  seemed  cold  to  my  friends,  but  it  was  not  in  my 
heart."  The  friends  needed  no  such  assurance.  He  was 
the  idol  of  those  who  were  most  closely  associated  with 
him  by  the  ties  of  blood  or  duty.  Even  to  people  out- 
side the  innermost  circle  of  intimacy  there  was  some- 
thing peculiarly  attractive  in  his  singular  mixture   of 

13 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

gentleness  and  dignity.  lie  excelled  as  a  host,  doing 
the  honors  of  his  table  with  the  old-fashioned  grace 
which  he  had  learned  at  Woburn  Abbey  and  at  Holland 
House  when  the  century  was  young ;  and  in  the  charm 
of  his  conversation  he  was  not  easily  equalled — never,  in 
my  experience,  surpassed.  He  had  the  happy  knack  of 
expressing  a  judgment  which  might  be  antagonistic  to 
the  sentiments  of  those  with  whom  he  was  dealing  in 
language  which,  while  perfectly  void  of  offence,  was 
calmly  decisive.  His  reply  to  Sir  Francis  Burdett  has 
been  pronounced  by  Mr.  Gladstone  to  be  the  best 
repartee  ever  made  in  Parliament.  Sir  Francis,  an  ex- 
Radical,  attacking  his  former  associates  with  all  the  bit- 
terness of  a  renegade,  had  said,  "  The  most  offensive 
thing  in  the  world  is  the  cant  of  patriotism."  Lord 
John  replied,  "I  quite  agree  that  the  cant  of  patriotism 
is  a  very  offensive  thing  ;  but  the  recant  of  patriotism  is 
more  offensive  still."  His  letter  to  the  Dean  of  Hereford 
about  the  election  of  Bishop  Hampden  is  a  classical  in- 
stance of  courteous  controversy.  Once  a  most  illustri- 
ous personage  asked  him  if  it  was  true  that  he  thought 
that  under  certain  circumstances  it  was  lawful  for  a  sub- 
ject to  disobey  the  Sovereign.  "Well,  speaking  of  a 
Sovereign  of  the  House  of  Hanover,  I  can  only  answer 
in  the  affirmative." 

His  copiousness  of  anecdote  was  inexhaustible.  His 
stories  always  fitted  the  point,  and  the  droll  gravity  of 
his  way  of  telling  them  added  greatly  to  their  zest.  Of 
his  conversation  with  Napoleon  at  Elba  I  recollect  only 
one  question  and  answer.  The  Emperor  took  the  little 
Englishman  by  the  ear  and  asked  him  what  was  thought 
in  England  of  his  chance  of  returning  to  the  throne  of 
France.  "  I  said,  '  Sire,  they  think  you  have  no  chance 
at  all.'  '  Then  you  can  tell  them  from  me  that  they  are 
wrong.'" 

14 


LORD    RUSSELL 

This  interview  took  place  when  Lord  John  was  making 
a  tour  with  Lord  and  Lady  Holland,  and  much  of  his 
earlier  life  had  been  spent  at  Holland  House,  in  the 
heart  of  that  brilliant  society  which  Macaulay  so  pict- 
uresquely described,  and  in  which  Luttrell  and  Samuel 
Rogers  were  conspicuous  figures.  Their  conversation 
supplied  Lord  John  with  an  anecdote  which  he  used  to 
bring  out,  with  a  twinkling  eye  and  a  chuckling  laugh, 
whenever  he  heard  that  any  public  reform  was  regarded 
with  misgiving  by  sensible  men.  Luttrell  and  Rogers 
were  passing  in  a  wherry  under  old  London  Bridge  when 
its  destruction  was  contemplated,  and  Rogers  said, 
"  Some  very  sensible  men  think  that  the  removal  of 
these  narrow  arches  will  cause  such  a  rush  of  water  as 
will  be  very  dangerous."  ''  My  dear  Rogers,"  answered 
V  Luttrell,  "  if  some  very  sensible  men  had  been  attended 
to,  we  should  still  be  eating  acorns." 

Of  William  and  John  Scott,  afterwards  Lord  Stowell 
and  Lord  Eldon,  Lord  John  Russell  used  to  tell  with  in- 
finite zest  a  story  which  he  declared  to  be  highly  char- 
acteristic of  the  methods  by  which  they  made  their  fort- 
unes and  position.  When  they  were  young  men  at  the 
Bar,  having  had  a  stroke  of  professional  luck,  they  de- 
termined to  celebrate  the  occasion  by  having  a  dinner  at 
a  tavern  and  going  to  the  play.  When  it  was  time  to 
call  for  the  reckoning  William  Scott  dropped  a  guinea. 
He  and  his  brother  searched  for  it  in  vain,  and  came  to 
the  conclusion  that  it  had  fallen  between  the  boards  of 
the  uncarpeted  floor. 

"  This  is  a  bad  job,"  said  William  ;  "  we  must  give  up 
the  play." 

"  Stop  a  bit,"  said  John  ;  "  I  know  a  trick  worth  two 
of  that,"  and  called  the  waitress. 

"Betty,"  said  he,  "we've  dropped  two  guineas.  See 
if  you  can  find  them."     Betty  went  down  on  her  hands 

15 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

and  knees,  and  found  the  one  guinea,  which  had  rolled 
under  the  fender. 

''That's  a  very  good  girl,  Betty,"  said  John  Scott, 
pocketing  the  coin,  "and  when  you  find  the  other  you 
can  keep  it  for  your  trouble."  And  the  prudent  broth- 
ers went  with  a  light  heart  to  the  play,  and  so  eventually 
to  the  Bench  and  the  AVoolsack. 

In  spite  of  profound  dififerences  of  political  opinion, 
Lord  Kussell  had  a  high  regard  for  the  memory  of  the 
Duke  of  Wellington,  and  had  been  much  in  his  society 
in  early  life.  Travelling  in  the  Peninsula  in  1813,  he 
visited  Lord  Wellington  at  his  headquarters  near  Burgos. 
On  the  morning  after  his  arrival  he  rode  out  with  his 
host  and  an  aide-de-camp,  and  surveyed  the  position  of 
the  French  army.  Lord  Wellington,  peering  through  his 
glass,  suddenly  exclaimed,  "  By  God  !  they've  changed 
their  position  !"  and  said  no  more. 

When  they  returned  from  their  ride,  the  aide-de-camp 
said  to  Lord  John,  "You  had  better  get  away  as  quick 
as  you  can.  I  am  confident  that  Lord  Wellington  means 
to  make  a  move."  Lord  John  took  the  hint,  made  his  ex- 
cuses, and  went  on  his  way.  That  evening  the  British 
army  was  in  full  retreat,  and  Lord  Eussell  used  to  tell 
the  story  as  illustrating  the  old  Duke's  extreme  reticence 
when  there  was  a  chance  of  a  military  secret  leaking 
out. 

Lord  Russell's  father,  the  sixth  Duke  of  Bedford,  be- 
longed to  that  section  of  the  Whigs  who  thought  that, 
while  a  Whig  Ministry  was  impossible,  it  was  wiser  to 
support  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  whom  they  believed  to 
be  a  thoroughly  honest  man,  than  Canning,  whom  they 
regarded  as  an  unscrupulous  adventurer.  Accordingly, 
the  Duke  of  Wellington  was  a  frequent  visitor  at  Woburn 
Abbey,  and  showed  consistent  friendliness  to  Lord  Rus- 
sell and  his  many  brothers,  all  of  whom  were  full  of  anec- 

16 


LORD    RUSSELL 

dotes  illustrative  of  his  grim  humor  and  robust  common- 
sense.     Let  a  few  of  tliem  be  recorded. 

The  Government  was  contemplating  the  despatch  of  an 
expedition  to  Burma,  with  a  view  to  taking  Rangoon,  and 
a  question  arose  as  to  who  would  be  the  fittest  general  to 
be  sent  in  command  of  the  expedition.  The  Cabinet  sent 
for  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  and  asked  his  advice.  He 
instantly  replied,  "Send  Lord  Combermere." 

"  But  we  have  always  understood  that  your  grace 
thought  Lord  Combermere  a  fool." 

"  So  he  is  a  fool,  and  a  damned  fool ;  but  he  can  take 
^  Rangoon." 

At  the  time  of  Queen  Caroline's  trial  the  mob  of  Lon- 
don sided  with  the  Queen,  and  the  Duke's  strong  adhe- 
sion to  the  King  made  him  extremely  unpopular.  Riding 
up  Crosvenor  Place  one  day  towards  Apsley  House,  he 
was  beset  by  a  gang  of  workmen  who  were  mending  the 
road.  They  formed  a  cordon,  shouldered  their  pickaxes, 
and  swore  they  would  not  let  the  Duke  pass  till  he  said 
"God  save  the  Queen."  "Well,  gentlemen,  since  you 
will  have  it  so — '  God  save  the  Queen,'  and  may  all  your 
wives  be  like  her  !" 

Mrs.  Arbuthnot  (wife  of  the  Duke's  private  secretary, 
familiarly  called  "  Gosh")  was  fond  of  parading  her  inti- 
macy with  the  Duke  before  miscellaneous  company.  One 
day,  in  a  large  party,  she  said  to  him  : 

"  Duke,  I  know  you  won't  mind  my  asking  you,  but  is 
it  true  that  you  were  so  much  surprised  when  you  found 
you  had  won  the  Battle  of  Waterloo  ?" 

"  By  God  !  not  half  as  much  surprised  as  I  am  now, 
mum." 

When  the  Queen  came  to  the  throne  her  first  public  act 

was  to  go  in  state  to  St.  James's  Palace  to  be  proclaimed. 

She  naturally  wished  to  be  accompanied  in  her  State 

coach  only  by  the  Duchess  of  Kent  and  one  of  the  ladies 

B  17 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

of  the  honsehold ;  but  Lord  Albemarle,  who  was  Master 
of  the  Horse,  insisted  that  he  had  a  right  to  travel  with 
her  Majesty  in  the  coach,  as  he  had  done  with  William 
IV.  The  point  was  submitted  to  the  Duke  of  "Welling- 
ton, as  a  kind  of  universal  referee  in  matters  of  precedent 
and  usage.  His  judgment  was  delightfully  unflattering 
to  the  outraged  magnate — "  The  Queen  can  make  you  go 
inside  the  coach  or  outside  the  coach,  or  run  behind  like 
a  damned  tinker's  dog." 

And  surely  the  whole  literary  profession,  of  which  the 
present  writer  is  a  feeble  unit,  must  cherish  a  sentiment 
of  grateful  respect  for  the  memory  of  a  man  who,  in  re- 
fusing the  dedication  of  a  song,  informed  Mrs.  Norton 
that  he  had  been  obliged  to  make  a  rule  of  refusing 
dedications,  "because,  in  his  situation  as  Chancellor  of 
the  University  of  Oxford,  he  had  been  much  exjjosed  to 
authors." 


Ill 

LORD   SHAFTESBURY 

If  the  Christian  Socialists  ever  frame  a  Calendar  of 
Worthies  (after  the  manner  of  Aiiguste  Comte),  it  is  to 
be  hoped  that  they  will  mark  among  the  most  sacred  and 
memorable  of  their  anniversaries  the  day — April  28,  1801 
— which  gave  birth  to  Anthony  Ashley,  seventh  Earl  of 
Shaftesbury.  His  life  of  eighty -four  years  was  conse- 
crated, from  boyhood  till  death,  to  the  social  service  of 
humanity  ;  and,  for  my  own  part,  I  must  always  regard  the 
privilege  of  his  friendship  as  among  the  highest  honors 
of  my  life.  Let  me  try  to  recall  some  of  the  outward 
and  inward  characteristics  of  this  truly  illustrious  man. 

Lord  Shaftesbury  was  tall  and  spare — almost  gaunt — 
in  figure,  but  powerfully  framed,  and  capable  of  great  ex- 
ertion. His  features  were  handsome  and  strongly  marked 
— an  aquiline  nose  and  very  prominent  chin.  His  com- 
plexion was  as  pale  as  marble,  and  contrasted  effectively 
with  a  thick  crop  of  jet-black  hair  which  extreme  old  age 
scarcely  tinged  with  silver. 

When  he  first  entered  Parliament  a  contemporary  ob- 
server of  the  House  of  Commons  wrote  :  "It  would  be 
difficult  to  imagine  a  more  complete  beau-ideal  of  aris- 
tocracy. His  whole  countenance  has  the  coldness  as  well 
as  the  grace  of  a  chiselled  one,  and  expresses  precision, 
prudence,  and  determination  in  no  common  degree." 
The  stateliness  of  bearing,  the  unbroken  figure,  the  high 
glance  of  stern  though  melancholy  resolve,  he  retained 

19 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

to  the  end.  But  the  incessant  labor  and  anxiety  of  sixty 
years  made  their  mark,  and  Sir  John  Millais's  noble  por- 
trait, painted  in  1877,  shows  a  countenance  on  which  a 
lifelong  contact  with  human  suffering  had  written  its 
tale  in  legible  characters. 

All  temperament  is,  I  suppose,  largely  hereditary. 
Lord  Shaftesbury's  father,  who  was  for  nearly  forty  years 
chairman  of  committees  in  the  House  of  Lords,  was  dis- 
tinguished by  a  strong  intellect,  an  imperious  temper, 
and  a  character  singularly  deficient  in  amiability.  His 
mother  (whose  childish  beauty  is  familiar  to  all  lovers  of 
Sir  Joshua's  art  as  the  little  girl  frightened  by  the  mask 
in  the  great  "  Marlborough  Group")  was  the  daughter  of 
the  third  Duke  of  Marlborough  by  that  Duchess  whom 
Queen  Charlotte  pronounced  to  be  the  proudest  woman 
in  England.  It  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  from  such 
a  parentage  and  such  an  ancestry  Lord  Shatesbury  de- 
rived some  of  the  most  conspicuous  features  of  his  char- 
acter. From  his  father  he  inherited  his  keenness  of  in- 
tellect, his  habits  of  laborious  industry,  and  his  iron 
tenacity  of  purpose.  From  his  mother  he  may  have  ac- 
quired that  strong  sense  of  personal  dignity — that  intui- 
tive and  perhaps  unconscious  feeling  of  what  was  due  to 
his  station  as  well  as  to  his  individuality — which  made 
his  presence  and  address  so  impressive  and  sometimes 
alarming. 

Dignity  was  indeed  the  quality  which  immediately 
struck  one  on  one's  first  encounter  with  Lord  Shaftes- 
bury ;  and  with  dignity  were  associated  a  marked  impe- 
riousness  and  an  eager  rapidity  of  thought,  utterance, 
and  action.  As  one  got  to  know  him  better,  one  began 
to  realize  his  intense  tenderness  towards  all  weakness  and 
suffering ;  his  overflowing  affection  for  those  who  stood 
nearest  to  him  ;  his  almost  morbid  sensitiveness ;  his 
passionate   indignation    against   cruelty  or  oppression. 

20 


LORD    SHAFTESBURY 

Now  and  then  his  conversation  was  brightened  by  brief 
and  sudden  gleams  of  genuine  humor,  but  these  gleams 
were  rare.  He  had  seen  too  much  of  human  misery  to 
be  habitually  jocose,  and  his  whole  nature  was  underlain 
by  a  groundwork  of  melancholy. 

The  marble  of  manhood  retained  the  impression 
stamped  upon  the  wax  of  childhood.  His  early  years 
had  been  profoundly  miserable.  His  parents  were  stern 
disciplinarians  of  the  antique  type.  His  private  school 
was  a  hell  on  earth ;  and  yet  he  used  to  say  that  he 
feared  the  master  and  the  bullies  less  than  he  feared  his 
parents.  One  element  of  joy,  and  one  only,  he  recog- 
nized in  looking  back  to  those  dark  days,  and  that  was  the 
devotion  of  an  old  maid-servant,  who  comforted  him  in  his 
childish  sorrows,  and  taught  him  the  rudiments  of  Chris- 
tian faith.  In  all  the  struggles  and  distresses  of  boy- 
hood and  manhood,  he  used  the  words  of  prayer  which  he 
had  learned  from  this  good  woman  before  he  was  seven 
years  old,  and  of  a  keepsake  which  she  left  him — the  gold 
watch  which  he  wore  to  the  last  day  of  his  life — he  used 
to  say,  "  That  was  given  to  me  by  the  best  friend  I  ever 
had  in  the  world." 

At  twelve  years  old  Anthony  Ashley  went  to  Harrow, 
where  he  boarded  with  the  Head  Master,  Dr.  Butler, 
father  of  the  present  Master  of  Trinity.  I  have  heard  him 
say  that  the  master  in  whose  form  he  was,  being  a  bad 
sleeper,  held  ''first  school"  at  four  o'clock  on  a  winter's 
morning ;  and  that  the  boy  for  whom  he  fagged,  being 
anxious  to  shine  as  a  reciter,  and  finding  it  difficult  to 
secure  an  audience,  compelled  him  and  his  fellow-fag  to 
listen  night  after  night  to  his  recitations,  perched  on  a 
high  stool  where  a  nap  was  impossible. 

But  in  spite  of  these  austerities,  Anthony  Ashley  was 
happy  at  Harrow,  and  the  place  should  be  sacred  in  the 
eyes  of  all  philanthropists,  because  it  was  there  that,  when 

31 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

he  was  fourteen  years  old,  he  consciously  and  definitely 
gave  his  life  to  the  service  of  his  fellow-men.  He  chanced 
to  see  a  scene  of  drunken  indecency  and  neglect  at  the 
funeral  of  one  of  the  villagers,  and  exclaimed  in  horror, 
"  Good  heavens  !  Can  this  be  permitted  simply  because 
the  man  was  poor  and  friendless  ?"  What  followed  is 
told  by  a  tablet  on  the  wall  of  the  old  school,  which 
bears  the  following  inscription  : 

Love.  Serve. 

NEAR  THIS  SPOT 

ANTHONY  ASHLEY  COOPER 

AFTERWARDS   7TH  EARL   OF   SHAFTESBURY,  K.G. 

WHILE   YET  A  BOY   IN   HARROW   SCHOOL 

SAW   WITH  SHAME   AND   INDIGNATION 

THE   pauper's  FUNERAL 

WHICH  HELPED  TO  AWAKEN   HIS   LIFELONG 

DEVOTION  TO  THE   SERVICE   OP  THE  POOR 

AND  THE   OPPRESSED. 


Blessed  is  he  that  considereth  the  poor. 

After  leaving  Harrow,  Lord  Ashley  (as  he  now  was) 
spent  two  years  at  a  private  tutor's,  and  in  1819  he  went 
up  to  Christ  Church.  In  1822  he  took  a  First  Class  in 
Classics.  The  next  four  years  were  spent  in  study  and 
travel,  and  in  1826  he  was  returned  to  Parliament,  by  the 
influence  of  his  uncle,  the  Duke  of  Marlborough,  for  the 
Borough  of  Woodstock.  On  November  16th  he  recorded 
in  his  diary  :  '^Took  the  oaths  of  Parliament  with  great 
good-will  ;  a  slight  prayer  for  assistance  in  my  thoughts 
and  deeds."  Never  was  a  politician's  prayer  more  abun- 
dantly granted. 

In  1830  Lord  Ashley  married  a  daughter  of  Lord  Cow- 
per,  and  this  marriage,  independently  of  the  radiant  hap- 
piness which  it  brought,  had  an  important  bearing  on  his 


LORD    SHAFTESBURY 

political  career,  for  Lady  Ashley's  uncle  was  Lord  Mel- 
bourne, and  her  mother  became,  by  a  second  marriage, 
the  wife  of  Lord  Palmerston.  Of  Lord  Melbourne  and 
his  strong  common-sense.  Lord  Shaftesbury,  in  1882,  told 
me  the  following  characteristic  story.  When  the  Queen 
became  engaged  to  Prince  Albert,  she  wished  him  to  be 
made  King  Consort  by  Act  of  Parliament,  and  urged  her 
wish  upon  the  Prime  Minister,  Lord  Melbourne.  At  first 
that  sagacious  man  simply  evaded  the  point,  but  when 
her  Majesty  insisted  on  a  categorical  answer,  "  I  thought 
it  my  duty  to  be  very  plain  with  her.  I  said,  'For 
God's  sake,  let's  hear  no  more  of  it,  ma'am ;  for  if  you 
once  get  the  English  people  into  the  way  of  making 
\  kings,  you  will  get  them  into  the  way  of  unmaking 
them.' " 

By  this  time  Lord  Ashley  was  deeply  immersed  in 
those  philanthropic  enterprises  which  he  had  deliber- 
ately chosen  as  the  occupation  of  his  lifetime.  Eeform 
of  the  Lunacy  Law  and  a  humaner  treatment  of  lunatics 
were  the  earliest  objects  to  which  he  devoted  himself. 
To  attain  them  the  more  effectually,  he  got  himself 
made  a  member,  and  subsequently  chairman,  of  the  Lu- 
nacy Commission,  and  threw  himself  into  the  work  with 
characteristic  thoroughness.  He  used  to  pay  "  surprise 
visits  "  both  by  day  and  night  to  public  and  private  asy- 
lums, and  discovered  by  those  means  a  system  of  regu- 
lated and  sanctioned  cruelty  which,  as  he  narrated  it  in 
his  old  age,  seemed  almost  too  horrible  for  credence. 

The  abolition  of  slavery  all  over  the  world  was  a  cause 
which  very  early  enlisted  his  sympathy,  and  he  used  to 
tell  with  grim  humor  how  when,  after  he  had  become 
Lord  Shaftesbury,  he  had  signed  an  Open  Letter  to 
America  in  favor  of  emancipation,  a  Southern  newspaper 
sarcastically  inquired:  "Where  was  this  Lord  Shaftes- 
bury when  the  noble-hearted  Lord  Ashley  was  doing  his 

33 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

single-handed  work  on  behalf  of  the  English  slaves  in 
the  factories  of  Lancashire  and  Yorkshire  ?" 

Sanitary  reform  and  the  promotion  of  the  public  health 
were  objects  at  which,  in  the  middle  part  of  his  life,  he 
worked  hard,  both  as  a  landowner  and  as  the  unpaid 
Chairman  of  the  Board  of  Health,  The  crusade  against 
vivisection  warmed  his  heart  and  woke  his  indignant 
eloquence  in  his  declining  years.  His  Memorial  Service 
in  Westminster  Abbey  was  attended  by  representatives 
of  nearly  two  hundred  religious  and  philanthropic  insti- 
tutions with  which  he  had  been  connected,  and  which, 
in  one  way  or  another,  he  had  served.  But,  of  course, 
it  is  with  the  reform  of  the  Factory  Laws  that  his  name 
is  most  inseparably  associated. 

In  1833  Lord  Ashley  took  up  the  Ten  Hours  Bill,  pre- 
viously in  the  charge  of  Mr.  Sadler,  who  had  now  lost 
his  seat.  He  carried  his  Bill  through  the  Second  Read- 
ing, but  it  was  opposed  by  Lord  Althorp,  who  threw  it 
out,  and  carried  a  modified  proposal  in  1833.  In  1844 
the  introduction  of  a  new  Bill  for  the  regulation  of  labor 
in  factories  brought  Lord  Ashley  back  to  his  old  battle- 
field. A  desperate  struggle  was  made  to  amend  the  Bill 
into  a  Ten  Hours  Bill,  but  this  failed,  owing  to  Sir  Rob- 
ert Peel's  threat  of  resignation. 

In  1845  Lord  Ashley  refused  the  Chief  Secretaryship 
for  Ireland,  in  order  to  be  able  to  devote  himself  wholly 
to  the  Ten  Hours  Bill ;  and,  as  soon  as  Parliament  rose, 
he  went  on  a  tour  through  the  manufacturing  districts, 
speaking  in  public,  mediating  between  masters  and  men, 
and  organizing  the  Ten  Hours  Movement. 

In  1847  the  Bill  passed  into  law.  On  June  1st  in  that 
year  Lord  Ashley  wrote  in  his  diary:  ''News  that  the 
Factory  Bill  has  just  passed  the  Third  Reading.  I  am 
humbled  that  my  heart  is  not  bursting  with  thankfulness 
to  Almighty  God — that  I  can  find  breath  and  sense  to 

34 


LORD    SHAFTESBUKY 

express  my  joy.  What  reward  shall  we  give  unto  the 
Lord  for  all  the  benefits  lie  luith  conferred  upon  us  ? 
God  in  His  mercy  prosper  the  work,  and  grant  that  these 
operatives  may  receive  the  cup  of  salvation  and  call  upon 
the  name  of  the  Lord  !" 

The  perfervid  vein  of  philanthropic  zeal  which  is  ap- 
parent in  this  extract  animated  and  dominated  every  part 
of  Lord  Shaftesbury's  nature  and  every  action  of  his  life. 
He  had,  if  ever  man  had,  "  the  Enthusiasm  of  Humani- 
ty." His  religion,  on  its  interior  side,  was  rapt,  emo- 
tional, and  sometimes  mystic ;  but  at  the  same  time 
it  was,  in  its  outward  manifestations,  definite,  tangible, 
and,  beyond  most  men's,  practical.  At  the  age  of  twen- 
ty-seven he  wrote  in  his  diary  :  "  On  my  soul,  I  believe 
that  I  desire  the  welfare  of  mankind  I"  At  eighty-four 
he  exclaimed,  in  view  of  his  approaching  end,  "  I  cannot 
bear  to  leave  the  world  with  all  the  misery  in  it !"  And 
this  was  no  mere  effusive  declamation,  but  the  genuine 
utterance  of  a  zeal  which  condescended  to  the  most  mi- 
nute and  laborious  forms  of  practical  expression. 

''Poor  dear  children  !"  he  exclaimed  to  the  superin- 
tendent of  a  ragged  school,  after  hearing  from  some  of 
the  children  their  tale  of  cold  and  hunger.  "  What  can 
we  do  for  them  ?" 

"  My  God  shall  supply  all  their  need,"  replied  the 
superintendent,  with  easy  faith. 

"Yes,"  said  Lord  Shaftesbury,  "He  will,  but  they 
must  have  some  food  directly."  He  drove  home,  and 
instantly  sent  two  churns  of  soup,  enough  to  feed  four 
hundred.  That  winter  ten  thousand  basins  of  soup, 
made  in  Grosvenor  Square,  were  distributed  among  the 
"dear  little  hearts"  of  Whitechapel. 

And  as  in  small  things,  so  in  great.  One  principle 
consecrated  his  whole  life.  The  love  of  God  constrained 
him  to  the  service  of  men,  and  no  earthly  object  or  con- 

35 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

sideration — however  natural,  innocent,  or  even  laudable 
— was  allowed  for  a  moment  to  interpose  itself  between 
him  and  the  supreme  purpose  for  which  he  lived.  He 
was  by  nature  a  man  of  keen  ambition,  and  yet  he  twice 
refused  office  in  the  Household,  once  the  Chief  Sec- 
retaryship, and  three  times  a  seat  in  the  Cabinet,  be- 
cause acceptance  would  have  hindered  him  in  his  social 
legislation  and  philanthropic  business.  When  one  con- 
siders his  singular  qualifications  for  public  life — his  phys- 
ical gifts,  his  power  of  sj^eech,  his  habits  of  business,  his 
intimate  connections  with  the  official  caste — when  we  re- 
member that  he  did  not  succeed  to  his  paternal  property 
till  he  was  fifty  years  old,  and  then  found  it  grossly 
neglected  and  burdened  with  debt ;  and  that  his  purse 
had  been  constantly  drained  by  his  philanthropic  enter- 
prises ;  I  feel  justified  in  saying  that  very  few  men  have 
ever  sacrificed  so  much  for  a  cause  which  brought  neither 
honor,  nor  riches,  nor  power,  nor  any  visible  reward,  ex- 
cept the  diminished  suffering  and  increased  happiness  of 
multitudes  who  were  the  least  able  to  help  themselves. 

Lord  Shaftesbury's  devotion  to  the  cause  of  Labor  led 
him  to  make  the  Factory  Acts  a  touchstone  of  character. 
To  the  end  of  his  days  his  view  of  public  men  was  large- 
ly governed  by  the  part  which  they  had  played  in  that 
great  controversy.  "  Gladstone  voted  against  me,"  was 
a  stern  sentence  not  seldom  on  his  lips.  ''  Bright  was 
the  most  malignant  opponent  the  Factory  Bill  ever  had." 
"Cobden,  though  bitterly  hostile,  was  better  than 
Bright."  Even  men  whom,  on  general  grounds,  he 
disliked  and  despised  —  such  as  Lord  Beaconsfield  and 
Bishop  Wilberforce — found  a  saving  clause  in  his  judg- 
ment if  he  could  truthfully  say,  "He  helped  me  with 
the  chininey  -  sweeps,"  or,  ''He  felt  for  the  wretched 
operatives." 

But  even  apart  from  questions  of  humane  sentiment 

26 


LORD   SHAFTESBURY 

and  the  supreme  interests  of  social  legislation,  I  always 
felt  in  my  intercourse  with  Lord  Shaftesbury  that  it 
would  have  been  impossible  for  him  to  act  for  long  to- 
gether in  subordination  to,  or  even  in  concert  with,  any 
political  leader.  Resolute,  self-reliant,  inflexible  ;  hat- 
ing compromise ;  never  turning  aside  by  a  hair's-breadth 
from  the  path  of  duty,  incapable  of  flattering  high  or 
low ;  dreading  leaps  in  the  dark,  but  dreading  more 
than  anything  else  the  sacrifice  of  principle  to  party; 
he  was  essentially  the  type  of  politician  who  is  the  de- 
spair of  the  official  wire-puller. 

Oddly  enough.  Lord  Palmerston  was  the  statesman 
with  whom,  despite  all  ethical  dissimilarity,  he  had  the 
most  sympathy,  and  this  arose  jxirtly  from  their  near  re- 
lationship, and  partly  from  Lord  Palmerston's  easy-going 
habit  of  placing  his  ecclesiastical  patronage  largely  in 
Lord  Shaftesbury^s  hands.  It  was  this  unseen  but  not 
unfelt  power  as  a  confidential  but  irresjaonsible  adviser 
that  Lord  Shaftesbury  really  enjoyed  ;  and,  indeed,  his 
political  opinions  were  too  individual  to  have  allowed  of 
binding  association  with  either  political  party.  He  was, 
in  the  truest  and  best  sense  of  the  word,  a  Conservative. 
To  call  him  a  Tory  would  be  quite  misleading.  He  was 
not  averse  from  Roman  Catholic  emancipation.  He  took 
no  prominent  part  against  the  first  Reform  Bill.  His  re- 
sistance to  the  admission  of  the  Jews  to  Parliament  was 
directed  rather  against  the  method  than  the  principle. 
Though  not  friendly  to  Women's  Suffrage,  he  said :  "  I 
shall  feel  myself  bound  to  conform  to  the  national  will, 
but  I  am  not  prepared  to  stimulate  it." 

But,  while  no  blind  and  unreasoning  opponent  of  all 
change,  he  had  a  deep  and  lively  veneration  for  the  past. 
Institutions,  doctrines,  ceremonies,  dignities,  even  social 
customs,  which  had  descended  from  old  time,  had  for 
him  a  fascination  and  an  awe.     In  his  high  sense  of  the 

27 


COLLECTIONS    AND    llECOLLECTIONS 

privileges  and  the  duties  of  kingship,  of  aristocracy,  of 
territorial  possession,  of  established  religions,  he  recalled 
the  doctrine  of  Burke  ;  and  he  resembled  that  illustrious 
man  in  his  passionate  love  of  principle  ;  in  his  proud 
hatred  of  shifts  and  compromises  ;  in  his  contempt  for 
the  whole  race  of  mechanical  politicians  and  their  ig- 
noble strife  for  place  and  power. 

When  Lord  Derby  formed  his  Government  in  1866,  on 
the  defeat  of  Lord  Eussell's  second  Reform  Bill,  he  en- 
deavored to  obtain  the  sanction  of  Lord  Shaftesbury's 
name  and  authority  by  offering  him  a  seat  in  his  Cabinet. 
This  offer  was  promptly  declined  ;  had  it  been  accepted, 
it  might  have  had  an  important  bearing  on  the  following 
event,  which  Avas  narrated  to  me  by  Lord  Shaftesbury  in 
1882.  One  Avinter  evening  in  1867  he  was  sitting  in  his 
library  in  Glrosvenor  Square,  when  the  servant  told  him 
that  there  was  a  poor  man  waiting  to  see  him.  The  man 
was  shown  in,  and  proved  to  be  a  laborer  from  Clerken- 
well,  and  one  of  the  innumerable  recipients  of  the  old 
EarFs  charity.  He  said,  "  My  Lord,  you  have  been  very 
good  to  me,  and  I  have  come  to  tell  you  what  I  have 
heard."  It  appeared  that  at  the  public-house  which  he 
frequented  he  had  overheard  some  Irishmen  of  desperate 
character  plotting  to  blow  up  Olerkenwell  Prison.  He 
gave  Lord  Shaftesbury  the  information  to  be  used  as  he 
thought  best,  but  made  it  a  condition  that  his  name 
should  not  be  divulged.  If  it  were,  his  life  would  not 
be  worth  an  hour's  purchase. 

Lord  Shaftesbury  pledged  himself  to  secrecy,  ordered 
his  carriage,  and  drove  instantly  to  Whitehall.  The 
authorities  there  refused,  on  grounds  of  official  practice, 
to  entertain  the  information  without  the  name  and  ad- 
dress of  the  informant.  These,  of  course,  could  not  be 
given.  The  warning  was  rejected,  and  the  jail  blown 
up.     Had  Lord  Shaftesbury  been  a  Cabinet  Minister, 

28 


LORD    SHAFTESBURY 

this  triumph  of  officialism  would  probably  not  have 
occurred. 

What  I  have  said  of  this  favorite  hero  of  mine  in  his 
public  aspects  will  have  prepared  the  sympathetic  reader 
for  the  presentment  of  the  man  as  he  appeared  in  private 
life.  For  what  he  was  abroad  that  he  was  at  home.  He 
was  not  a  man  who  showed  two  natures  or  lived  two 
lives.  He  was  profoundly  religious,  eagerly  benevolent, 
utterly  impatient  of  whatever  stood  between  him  and  the 
laudable  object  of  the  moment,  warmly  attached  to  those 
who  shared  his  sympathies  and  helped  his  enterprises — 
Fort  comme  le  diamant ;  plus  tendre  qu'une  m^re.  The 
imperiousness  which  I  described  at  the  outset  remained 
a  leading  characteristic  to  the  last.  His  opinions  were 
strong,  his  judgment  was  emphatic,  his  language  un- 
measured. He  had  been,  all  through  his  public  life,  sur- 
rounded by  a  cohort  of  admiring  and  obedient  coadjutors, 
and  he  was  unused  to,  and  intolerant  of,  disagreement  or 
opposition.  It  was  a  disconcerting  experience  to  speak 
on  a  platform  where  he  was  chairman,  and,  just  as  one 
was  warming  to  an  impressive  passage,  to  feel  a  vigorous 
pull  at  one's  coat-tail,  and  to  hear  a  quick,  imperative 
voice  say,  in  no  muffled  tone,  "  My  dear  fellow,  are  you 
never  going  to  stop  ?    We  shall  be  here  all  night." 

But  when  due  allowance  was  made  for  this  natural 
habit  of  command.  Lord  Shaftesbury  was  delightful  com- 
pany. Given  to  hospitality,  he  did  the  honors  with 
stately  grace ;  and,  on  the  rare  occasions  when  he  could 
be  induced  to  dine  out,  his  presence  was  sure  to  make 
the  party  a  success.  In  early  life  he  had  been  pestered 
by  a  delicate  digestion,  and  had  accustomed  himself  to  a 
regimen  of  rigid  simplicity  ;  but,  though  the  most  abste- 
mious of  men,  he  knew  and  liked  a  good  glass  of  wine, 
and  in  a  small  party  would  bring  out  of  the  treasures  of 
his  memory  things  new  and  old  with  a  copiousness  and  a 

29 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

vivacity  which  fairly  fascinated  his  hearers.  His  conver- 
sation had  a  certain  flavor  of  literature.  His  classical 
scholarship  was  easy  and  graceful.  He  had  the  Latin 
poets  at  his  fingers'  ends,  spoke  French  fluently,  knew 
Milton  by  heart,  and  was  a  great  admirer  of  Crabbe.  His 
own  style,  both  in  speech  and  writing,  was  copious,  vigor- 
ous, and  often  really  eloquent.  It  had  the  same  orna- 
mental precision  as  his  exquisite  handwriting.  When  he 
was  among  friends  whom  he  thoroughly  enjoyed,  the 
sombre  dignity  of  his  conversation  was  constantly  enliv- 
ened by  flashes  of  a  genuine  humor,  which  relieved,  by 
the  force  of  vivid  contrast,  the  habitual  austerity  of  his 
demeanor. 

A  kind  of  proud  humility  was  constantly  present  in  his 
speech  and  bearing.  Ostentation,  display,  lavish  expen- 
diture would  have  been  abhorrent  alike  to  his  taste  and 
his  principles.  The  stately  figure  which  bore  itself  so 
majestically  in  Courts  and  Parliaments  naturally  unbent 
among  the  costermongers  of  Whitechapel  and  the  labor- 
ers of  Dorsetshire.  His  personal  appointments  were 
simple  to  a  degree  ;  his  own  expenditure  was  restricted 
within  the  narrowest  limits.  But  he  loved,  and  was 
honestly  proud  of,  his  beautiful  home — St.  Giles's  House, 
near  Cranbourne — and  when  he  received  his  guests,  gen- 
tle or  simple,  at  "  The  Saint,"  as  he  affectionately  called 
it,  the  mixture  of  stateliness  and  geniality  in  his  bear- 
ing and  address  was  an  object-lesson  in  high  breeding. 
Once  Lord  Beaconsfield,  who  was  staying  with  Lord 
Alington  at  Crichel,  was  driven  over  to  call  on  Lord 
Shaftesbury  at  St.  Giles's.  When  he  rose  to  take  his 
leave,  he  said,  with  characteristic  magniloquence,  but  not 
without  an  element  of  truth  :  "Good-bye,  my  dear  Lord. 
You  have  given  me  the  privilege  of  seeing  one  of  the  most 
impressive  of  all  spectacles  —  a  great  English  nobleman 
living  in  patriarchal  state  in  his  own  hereditary  halls." 

30 


IV 

CARDINAL    MANNING 

I  HAVE  described  a  great  philanthropist  and  a  great 
statesman.  My  present  subject  is  a  man  who  combined 
in  singular  harmony  the  qualities  of  philanthropy  and  of 
statesmanship — Henry  Edward,  Cardinal  Manning,  and 
titular  Archbishop  of  Westminster. 

My  acquaintance  with  Cardinal  Manning  began  in 
1883.  Early  in  the  Parliamentary  session  of  that  year 
he  intimated,  through  a  common  friend,  a  desire  to 
make  my  acquaintance.  He  wished  to  get  an  indepen- 
dent member  of  Parliament,  and  especially,  if  possible, 
a  Liberal  and  a  Churchman,  to  take  up  in  the  House  of 
Commons  the  cause  of  Denominational  Education.  His 
scheme  was  much  the  same  as  that  now  adopted  by  the 
Government — the  concurrent  endowment  of  all  denom- 
inational schools ;  which,  as  he  remarked,  would  prac- 
tically come  to  mean  those  of  the  Komans,  the  Anglicans, 
and  the  Wesleyans.  In  compliance  with  his  request  I 
presented  myself  at  that  strange,  barrack-like  building 
off  the  Vauxhall  Bridge  Eoad,  which  was  formerly  the 
Guards'  Institute,  and  is  now  the  Archbishop's  House. 
Of  course,  I  had  long  been  familiar  with  the  Cardinal's 
shrunken  form  and  finely  cut  features,  and  that  extraor- 
dinary dignity  of  bearing  which  gave  him,  though  in 
reality  below  the  middle  height,  the  air  and  aspect  of  a 
tall  man.  But  I  only  knew  him  as  a  conspicuous  and 
impressive  figure  in  society,  on  public  platforms,  and 

31 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

(where  he  specially  loved  to  be)  in  the  precincts  of  the 
House  of  Commons.  I  had  never  exchanged  a  word 
with  him,  and  it  was  with  a  feeling  of  very  special  in- 
terest that  I  entered  his  presence. 

We  had  little  in  common.  I  was  still  a  young  man, 
and  the  Cardinal  was  already  old.  I  was  a  stanch  An- 
glican ;  he  the  most  devoted  of  Papalists.  I  was  strongly 
opposed  both  to  his  Ultramontane  policy  and  to  those 
dexterous  methods  by  which  he  was  commonly  supposed 
to  promote  it ;  and,  as  far  as  the  circumstances  of  my 
life  had  given  me  any  insight  into  the  interior  of  Eoman- 
ism,  I  agreed  with  the  great  Oratorian  of  Birmingham 
rather  than  with  his  brother  -  Cardinal  of  Westminster. 
But  though  I  hope  that  my  principles  stood  firm,  all  my 
prejudices  melted  away  in  that  fascinating  presence. 
Though  there  was  something  like  half  a  century's  differ- 
ence in  our  ages,  I  felt  at  once  and  completely  at  home 
with  him. 

What  made  our  perfect  ease  of  intercourse  more  re- 
markable was  that,  as  far  as  the  Cardinal's  immediate 
object  was  concerned,  my  visit  was  a  total  failure.  I  had 
no  sympathy  with  his  scheme  for  the  endowment  of  de- 
nominational teaching,  and,  with  all  the  will  in  the  world 
to  please  him,  I  could  not  even  meet  him  half-way.  But 
this  untoward  circumstance  did  not  import  the  least 
difficulty  or  restraint  into  our  conversation.  He  gently 
glided  from  business  into  general  topics;  knew  all  about 
my  career,  congratulated  me  on  some  recent  success,  re- 
membered some  of  my  belongings,  inquired  about  my 
school  and  college,  was  interested  to  find  that,  like  him- 
self, I  had  been  at  Harrow  and  Oxford,  and,  after  an  hour's 
pleasant  chat,  said  :  ''Now  you  must  stay  and  have  some 
luncheon."  From  that  day  to  the  end  of  his  life  I  was  a 
frequent  visitor  at  his  house,  and  every  year  that  I  knew 
him  I  learned  to  regard  and  respect  him  increasingly. 


CARDINAL    MANNING 

Looking  back  over  these  fourteen  years,  and  reviewing 
my  impressions  of  his  personality,  I  must  put  first  the 
physical  aspect  of  the  man.  He  seemed  older  than  he 
was,  and  even  more  ascetic,  for  he  looked  as  if,  like  the 
cardinal  in  Lothair,  he  lived  on  biscuits  and  soda-water ; 
whereas  he  had  a  hearty  appetite  for  his  mid-day  meal, 
and,  in  his  own  words,  '^  enjoyed  his  tea."  Still,  he  car- 
ried the  irreducible  minimum  of  flesh  on  his  bones,  and 
his  hollow  cheeks  and  shrunken  jaws  threw  his  massive 
forehead  into  striking  prominence.  His  line  of  features 
was  absolutely  faultless  in  its  statuesque  regularity,  but 
his  face  was  saved  from  the  insipidity  of  too  great  per- 
fection by  the  imperious — rather  ruthless — lines  of  his 
mouth  and  the  penetrating  lustre  of  his  deep-set  eyes. 
His  dress  —  a  black  cassock  edged  and  buttoned  with 
crimson,  with  a  crimson  skullcap  and  biretta,  and  a  pec- 
toral cross  of  gold — enhanced  the  picturesqueness  of  his 
aspect,  and  as  he  entered  the  anteroom  where  one  await- 
ed his  approach,  the  most  Protestant  knee  instinctively 
bent. 

His  dignity  was  astonishing.  The  position  of  a  Car- 
dinal, with  a  princely  rank  recognized  abroad,  but  offi- 
cially ignored  in  England,  was  a  difficult  one  to  carry  off, 
but  his  exquisite  tact  enabled  him  to  sustain  it  to  perfec- 
tion. He  never  put  himself  forward;  never  asserted 
his  rank ;  never  exposed  himself  to  rebuffs ;  still,  he  al- 
ways contrived  to  be  the  most  conspicuous  figure  in  any 
company  which  he  entered ;  and  whether  one  greeted 
him  with  the  homage  due  to  a  Prince  of  the  Church  or 
merely  with  the  respect  which  no  one  refuses  to  a  courtly 
old  gentleman,  his  manner  was  equally  easy,  natural,  and, 
unembarrassed.  The  fact  that  the  Cardinal's  name,  after 
due  consideration,  was  inserted  in  the  Eoyal  Commission 
on  the  Housing  of  the  Poor  immediately  after  that  of  the 
Prince  of  Wales  and  before  Lord  Salisbury's  was  the  for- 
c  33 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

mal  recognition  of  a  social  precedence  which  his  adroit- 
ness and  judgment  had  already  made  his  own. 

To  imagine  that  Cardinal  Manning  regarded  station  or 
dignity,  or  even  power,  as  treasures  to  be  valued  in  them- 
selves would  be  ridiculously  to  misconceive  the  man.  He 
had  two  supreme  and  absorbing  objects  in  life — if,  indeed, 
they  may  not  be  more  j^roperly  spoken  of  as  one — the 
glory  of  God  and  the  salvation  of  men.  These  were,  in 
his  intellect  and  conscience,  identified  with  the  victory  of 
the  Roman  Church.  To  these  all  else  was  subordinated  ; 
by  its  relation  to  these  all  else  was  weighed  and  calcu- 
lated. His  ecclesiastical  dignity,  and  the  secular  recog- 
nition of  it,  were  valuable  as  means  to  high  ends.  They 
attracted  public  notice  to  his  person  and  mission  ;  they 
secured  him  a  wider  hearing  ;  they  gave  him  access  to 
circles  which,  perhaps,  would  otherwise  have  been  closed. 
Hence,  and  for  no  other  reason,  they  were  valuable. 

It  is  always  to  be  borne  in  mind  that  Manning  was  es- 
sentially a  man  of  the  world,  though  he  was  much  more 
than  that.  Be  it  far  from  me  to  disparage  the  ordinary 
type  of  Roman  ecclesiastic,  who  is  bred  in  a  seminary, 
and  perhaps  spends  his  lifetime  in  a  religions  commu- 
nity. That  peculiar  training  produces,  often  enough,  a 
character  of  saintliness  and  unworldly  grace  on  which 
one  can  only  '^  look,''  to  use  a  phrase  of  Mr.  Gladstone's, 
"  as  men  look  up  at  the  stars."  But  it  was  a  very  differ- 
ent process  that  had  made  Cardinal  Manning  what  he 
was.  He  had  touched  life  at  many  points.  A  wealthy 
home,  four  years  at  Harrow,  Balliol  in  its  palmiest  days, 
a  good  degree,  a  College  Fellowship,  political  and  secular 
ambitions  of  no  common  kind,  apprenticeshij)  to  the 
practical  work  of  a  Government  office,  a  marriage  bright- 
ly but  all  too  briefly  happy,  the  charge  of  a  country  par- 
ish, and  an  early  initiation  into  the  duties  of  ecclesiastical 
rulership  ;  all  these  experiences  had  made  Henry  Man- 

34 


CARDINAL    MANNING 

ning,  by  the  time  of  his  momentous  change,  an  accom- 
plished man  of  the  world. 

His  subsequent  career,  though,  of  course,  it  super- 
added certain  characteristics  of  its  own,  never  obliter- 
ated or  even  concealed  the  marks  left  by  those  earlier 
phases,  and  the  octogenarian  Cardinal  was  a  beautifully 
mannered,  well-informed,  sagacious  old  gentleman,  who, 
but  for  his  dress,  might  have  passed  for  a  Cabinet  Minis- 
ter, an  eminent  judge,  or  a  great  county  magnate. 

His  mental  alertness  was  remarkable.  He  seemed  to 
read  everything  that  came  out,  and  to  know  all  that  was 
going  on.  He  probed  the  secrets  of  character  with  a 
glance,  and  was  particularly  sharp  on  pretentiousness 
and  self-importance.  A  well-known  publicist,  who  per- 
haps thinks  of  himself  rather  more  highly  than  he  ought 
to  think,  once  ventured  to  tell  the  Cardinal  that  he  knew 
nothing  about  the  subject  of  a  painful  agitation  which 
pervaded  London  in  the  summer  of  1885.  ^'I  have  been 
hearing  confessions  in  London  for  thirty  years,  and  I 
fancy  more  people  have  confided  their  secrets  to  me  than 
to  you,  Mr. ,"  was  the  Cardinal's  reply. 

Once,  when  his  burning  sympathy  with  suffering  and  his 
profound  contempt  for  Political  Economy  had  led  him, 
in  his  own  words,  to  "poke  fun  at  the  Dismal  Science,^' 
the  Times  lectured  him  in  its  most  superior  manner,  and 
said  that  the  venerable  prelate  seemed  to  mistake  cause 
and  effect.  "That,"  said  the  Cardinal  to  me,  "is  the 
sort  of  criticism  that  an  undergraduate  makes,  and  thinks 
himself  very  clever.  But  I  am  told  that  in  the  present 
day  the  Times  is  chiefly  written  by  undergraduates." 

I  once  asked  him  what  he  thought  of  a  high  dignitary 
of  the  English  Church,  who  had  gone  a  certain  way  in  a 
public  movement,  and  then  had  been  frightened  back  by 
clamor.  His  reply  was  the  single  word  "infirmus,"  ac- 
companied by  that  peculiar  sniff  which  every  one  who 

35 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

ever  conversed  with  him  must  remember  as  adding  so 
mucli  to  the  piquancy  of  his  terse  judgments.  When  he 
was  asked  his  opinion  of  a  famous  biography  in  which  a 
son  had  disclosed,  with  too  absolute  frankness,  his  father's 
innermost  thoughts  and  feelings,  the  Cardinal  replied : 
"  I  think  that has  committed  the  sin  of  Ham." 

His  sense  of  humor  was  peculiarly  keen,  and  though  it 
was  habitually  kept  under  control,  it  was  sometimes  used 
to  point  a  moral  with  admirable  effect. 

"  What  are  you  going  to  do  in  life  ?"  he  asked  a  rather 
flippant  undergraduate  at  Oxford. 

"  Oh,  I'm  going  to  take  Holy  Orders,"  was  the  airy 
reply. 

"TaJce  care  you  get  them,  my  son." 

Though  he  was  intolerant  of  bumptiousness,  the  Car- 
dinal liked  young  men.  He  often  had  some  about  him, 
and  in  speaking  to  them  the  friendliness  of  his  manner 
was  touched  with  fatherliness  in  a  truly  attractive  fash- 
ion. And  as  with  young  men,  so  with  children.  Surely 
nothing  could  be  prettier  than  this  answer  to  a  little  girl 
in  New  York  who  had  addressed  some  of  her  domestic 
experiences  to  "Cardinal  Manning,  England": 

''  My  dear  Child, — You  ask  me  whether  I  am  glad  to 
receive  letters  from  little  children.  I  am  always  glad,  for 
they  write  kindly  and  give  no  trouble.  I  wish  all  my  let- 
ters were  like  them.  Give  my  blessing  to  your  father, 
and  tell  him  that  our  good  Master  will  reward  him  a  hun- 
dredfold for  all  he  has  lost  for  the  sake  of  his  faith.  Tell 
him  that  when  he  comes  over  to  England  he  must  come 
to  see  me.  And  mind  you  bring  your  violin,  for  I  love 
music,  but  seldom  have  any  time  to  hear  it.  The  next 
three  or  four  years  of  your  life  are  very  precious.  They 
are  like  the  ploughing-time  and  the  sowing-time  of  the 
year.     You  are  learning  to  know  God,  the  Holy  Trinity, 

36 


CARDINAL    MANNING 

the  Incarnation,  the  presence  and  voice  of  the  Holy  Ghost 
in  the  Church  of  Jesns  Christ.  Learn  all  these  things 
solidly,  and  yon  will  love  the  Blessed  Sacrament  and  our 
Blessed  Mother  with  all  your  heart.  And  now  you  will 
pray  for  me  that  I  may  make  a  good  end  of  a  long  life, 
which  cannot  be  far  off.  And  may  God  guide  you,  and 
guard  you  in  innocence  and  in  fidelity  through  this  evil, 
evil  world  !  And  may  His  blessing  be  on  your  home  and 
all  belonging  to  you  !     Believe  me  always  a  true  friend, 

"  Henry  Edward, 
"  Card.  Abp.  of  Westminster." 

The  Cardinal  had,  I  should  say,  rather  a  contempt  for 
women.  He  exercised  a  great  influence  over  them,  but 
I  question  if  he  rated  their  intellectual  and  moral  quali- 
ties as  highly  as  he  ought,  and  their  "  rights  "  he  held  in 
utter  detestation.  General  society,  though  in  his  later 
days  he  saw  little  of  it  except  at  the  Athenaeum,  he 
thoroughly  enjoyed.  Like  most  old  people,  he  was  fond 
of  talking  about  old  days,  and  as  he  had  known  hosts 
of  important  and  interesting  men,  had  a  tenacious  mem- 
ory, and  spoke  the  most  finished  English,  it  was  a  pleas- 
ure to  listen  to  his  reminiscences.  He  wrote  as  well  as 
he  talked.  His  pointed  and  lucid  style  gave  to  his 
printed  performances  a  semblance  of  cogency  which 
they  did  not  really  possess ;  and  his  letters  —  even  his 
shortest  notes  —  were  as  exrquisite  in  wording  as  in  pen- 
manship. As  he  grew  older  he  became  increasingly  sen- 
sible of  the  charms  of  "  Auld  Lang  Syne,"  and  he  de- 
lighted to  renew  his  acquaintance  with  the  scenes  and 
associations  of  his  youth. 

On  July  15,  1888,  being  the  first  day  of  the  Eton  and 
Harrow  Match  at  Lord's,  a  few  Old  Harrovians  of  differ- 
ent generations  met  at  a  Harrow  dinner.  The  Cardinal, 
who  had  just  turned  eighty,  was  invited.     He  declined 

37 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

to  dine,  on  the  ground  that  he  never  dined  out,  but  he 
would  on  no  account  forego  the  opportunity  of  meeting 
the  members  of  his  old  school,  and  he  recalled  with 
pride  that  he  had  been  for  two  years  in  the  Harrow 
Eleven.  He  appeared  as  soon  as  dinner  was  over,  gal- 
lantly faced  the  cloud  of  cigar -smoke,  was  in  his  very 
best  vein  of  anecdote  and  reminiscence,  and  stayed  till 
the  party  broke  up. 

The  Cardinal's  friendships  were  not,  I  believe,  numer- 
ous, but  his  affection  for  Mr.  Gladstone  is  well  known.  It 
dated  from  Oxford.  Through  Manning  and  Hope-Scott 
the  influence  of  the  Catholic  revival  reached  the  young 
member  for  Newark,  and  they  were  the  godfathers  of 
his  eldest  son.  After  their  secession  to  Kome  in  1851 
this  profound  friendship  fell  into  abeyance.  As  far  as 
Manning  was  concerned,  it  was  renewed  when,  in  1868, 
Mr.  Gladstone  took  in  hand  to  disestablish  the  Irish 
Church.  It  was  broken  again  by  the  controversy  about 
Vaticanism  in  1875  ;  and  a  few  years  ago  was  happily 
revived  by  the  good  offices  of  a  common  friend.  "  Glad- 
stone is  a  very  fine  fellow,'^  said  the  Cardinal  to  me  in 
1890.  ''He  is  not  vindictive.  You  may  fight  him  as 
hard  as  you  like,  and  when  the  fight  is  over  you  will 
find  that  it  has  left  no  rancor  behind  it." 

This  affection  for  Mr.  Gladstone  was  a  personal  matter, 
quite  independent  of  politics ;  but  in  political  matters  also 
they  had  much  in  common.  "  You  know,"  wrote  the  Car- 
dinal to  Mrs.  Gladstone  on  her  Golden  "Wedding,  "  how 
nearly  I  have  agreed  in  William's  political  career,  espe- 
cially in  his  Irish  j)olicy  of  the  last  twenty  years."  He  ac- 
cepted the  principle  of  Home  Rule,  though  he  thought 
badly  of  the  Bill  of  1886,  and  predicted  its  failure  from  the 
day  when  it  was  brought  in.  The  exclusion  of  the  Irish 
members  was  in  his  eyes  a  fatal  blot,  as  tending  rather  to 
separation  than  to  that  Imperial  federation  which  was 

38 


CARDINAL    MANNING 

his  political  ideal.  But  tlio  Cardinal  always  held  his 
politics  in  subordination  to  his  religion,  and  at  the  Gen- 
eral Election  of  1885  his  vigorous  intervention  on  behalf 
of  denominational  education,  which  he  considered  to  be 
imperilled  by  the  Radical  policy,  considerably  embar- 
rassed the  Liberal  cause  in  those  districts  of  London 
where  there  is  a  Roman  Catholic  vote. 

It  is  necessary  to  say  a  word  about  Cardinal  Manning's 
method  of  religious  propagandism.  He  excelled  in  the 
art  of  driving  a  nail  where  it  would  go.  He  never  wor- 
ried his  acquaintance  with  controversy,  never  introduced 
religious  topics  unseasonably,  never  cast  his  pearls  before 
miappreciative  animals.  But  when  he  saw  a  chance,  an 
opening,  a  sympathetic  tendency,  or  a  weak  spot,  he  fast- 
ened on  it  with  unerring  instinct.  His  line  was  rather 
admonitory  than  persuasive.  When  he  thought  that  the 
person  whom  he  was  addressing  had  an  inkling  of  the 
truth,  but  was  held  back  from  avowing  it  by  cowardice 
or  indecision,  he  would  utter  the  most  startling  warnings 
about  the  danger  of  dallying  with  grace. 

*'I  promise  you  to  become  a  Catholic  when  I  am 
twenty-one,"  said  a  young  lady  whom  he  was  trying  to 
convert. 

''  But  can  you  promise  to  live  so  long  T'  was  the 
searching  rejoinder. 

In  Manning's  belief,  the  Roman  Church  was  the  one 
oracle  of  truth  and  the  one  ark  of  salvation ;  and  his 
was  the  faith  which  would  compass  sea  and  land,  sacri- 
fice all  that  it  possessed,  and  give  its  body  to  be  burned, 
if  it  might  by  any  means  bring  one  more  soul  to  safety. 
If  he  could  win  a  single  human  being  to  see  the  truth 
and  act  on  it,  he  was  supremely  happy.  To  make  the 
Church  of  Rome  attractive,  to  enlarge  her  borders,  to 
win  recruits  for  her,  was  therefore  his  constant  effort. 
He  had  an  ulterior  eye  to  it  in  all  his  public  works — his 

39 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

zealous  teetotalism,  his  advocacy  of  the  claims  of  labor, 
his  sympathy  with  the  cause  of  Home  Rule ;  and  the 
same  principle  which  animated  him  in  these  large 
schemes  of  philanthropy  and  public  policy  made  itself 
felt  in  the  minutest  details  of  daily  life  and  personal 
dealing.  Where  he  saw  the  possibility  of  making  a  con- 
vert, or  even  of  dissipating  prejudice  and  inclining  a 
single  Protestant  more  favorably  towards  Rome,  he  left 
no  stone  unturned  to  secure  this  all  -  important  end. 
Hence  it  came  that  he  was  constantly,  and  not  wholly 
without  reason,  depicted  as  a  man  whom  in  religious 
things  it  was  impossible  to  trust ;  with  whom  the  end 
justified  the  means ;  and  whose  every  act  and  word, 
where  the  interests  of  his  Church  were  involved,  must 
be  watched  with  the  most  jealous  suspicion. 

All  this  was  grossly  overstated.  Whatever  else  Cardi- 
nal Manning  was,  he  was  an  English  gentleman  of  the  old 
school,  with  a  nice  sense  of  honor  and  propriety.  But 
still,  under  a  mass  of  calumny  and  exaggeration  there 
lay  this  substratum  of  truth — that  he  who  wills  the  end 
wills  the  means ;  and  that  where  the  interests  of  a 
sacred  cause  are  at  stake,  an  enthusiastic  adherent  will 
sometimes  use  methods  to  which,  in  enterprises  of  less 
pith  and  moment,  recourse  could  not  possibly  be  had. 

Manning  had  what  has  been  called  "  the  ambition  of 
distinctiveness.^'  He  felt  that  he  had  a  special  mission 
which  no  other  man  could  so  adequately  fulfil,  and  this 
was  to  establish  and  popularize  in  England  his  own 
robust  faith  in  the  cause  of  the  Papacy  as  identical  with 
the  cause  of  God.  There  never  lived  a  stronger  Papal- 
ist.  He  was  more  Ultramontane  than  the  Ultramon- 
tanes.  Everything  Roman  was  to  him  divine.  Italian 
architecture,  Italian  vestments,  the  Italian  mode  of  pro- 
nouncing ecclesiastical  Latin  were  dear  to  him,  because 
they  visibly  and  audibly  implied  the  all-pervading  pres- 

40 


CARDINAL    MANNING 

ence  and  power  of  Rome.  Rightly  or  wrongly,  he  con- 
ceived that  English  Romanism,  as  it  was  when  he  joined 
the  Roman  Church,  was  practically  Gallicanism  ;  that  it 
minimized  the  Papal  supremacy,  was  disloyal  to  the 
Temporal  Power,  and  was  prone  to  accommodate  itself 
to  its  Protestant  and  secular  environment.  Against  this 
time-serving  spirit  he  set  his  face  like  a  flint.  He  be- 
lieved that  he  had  been  divinely  appointed  to  Papalize 
England.  The  cause  of  the  Pope  was  the  cause  of  God ; 
Manning  was  the  person  who  could  best  serve  the  Pope's 
cause,  and  therefore  all  forces  which  opposed  him  were 
in  effect  opposing  the  Divine  Will.  This  seems  to  have 
been  his  simple  and  sufficient  creed,  and  certainly  it  had 
the  merit  of  supplying  a  clear  rule  of  action.  It  made 
itself  felt  in  his  hostility  to  the  Religions  Orders,  and 
especially  the  Society  of  Jesus.  Religious  Orders  are 
extra-episcopal.  The  Jesuits  are  scarcely  subject  to  the 
Pope  himself.  Certainly  neither  the  Orders  nor  the 
Society  would,  or  could,  be  subject  to  Manning.  A 
power  independent  of,  or  hostile  to,  his  authority  was 
inimical  to  religion,  and  must,  as  a  religious  duty,  he 
checked,  and,  if  possible,  destroyed.  Exactly  the  same 
principle  animated  his  dealings  with  Cardinal  Newman. 
Rightly  or  wrongly,  Manning  thought  Newman  a  half- 
hearted Papalist.  He  dreaded  alike  his  way  of  putting 
things  and  his  practical  policy.  Newman's  favorite 
scheme  of  establishing  a  Roman  Catholic  college  at  Ox- 
ford Manning  regarded  as  fraught  with  peril  to  the 
faith  of  the  rising  generation.  The  scheme  must,  there- 
fore, be  crushed  and  its  author  snubbed. 

I  must  in  candor  add  that  these  differences  of  opinion 
between  the  two  Cardinals  were  mixed  with,  and  embit- 
tered by,  a  sense  of  personal  dislike.  When  Newman 
died  there  appeared  in  a  monthly  magazine  a  series  of 
very  unflattering  sketches  by  one  who  had  knoAvn  him 

41 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

well.  I  ventured  to  ask  Cardinal  Manning  if  he  had 
seen  these  sketches.  lie  replied  that  he  had,  and  thought 
them  very  shocking ;  the  writer  must  have  a  very  un- 
enviable mind,  etc. ;  and  then,  having  thus  sacrificed  to 
propriety,  after  a  moment's  pause  he  added:  *'But  if 
yon  ask  me  if  they  are  like  poor  Newman,  I  am  bound 
to  say — a  photograph." 

It  was,  I  suppose,  matter  of  common  knowledge  that 
I  Manning's  early  and  conspicuous  ascendency  in  the 
counsels  of  the  Papacy  rested  largely  on  the  intimacy  of 
his  personal  relations  with  Pius  IX.  But  it  was  news 
to  most  of  us  that  (if  his  biographer  is  right)  he  wished 
to  succeed  Antonelli  as  Secretary  of  State  in  1876,  and 
to  transfer  the  scene  of  his  activities  from  Westminster 
to  Rome ;  and  that  he  attributed  the  Pope's  disregard  of 
his  wishes  to  mental  decrepitude.  The  point,  if  true, 
is  an  important  one,  for  his  accession  to  the  Secretary- 
ship of  State,  and  permanent  residence  in  Rome,  could 
not  have  failed  to  affect  the  development  of  events  when, 
two  years  later,  the  Papal  throne  became  vacant  by  the 
death  of  Pius  IX.  But  Deo  aliter  visum.  It  was  or- 
dained that  he  should  pass  the  evening  of  his  days  in 
England,  and  that  he  should  outlive  his  intimacy  at  the 
Vatican  and  his  influence  on  the  general  policy  of  the 
Church  of  Rome.  With  the  accession  of  Leo  XIII.  a 
new  order  began,  and  Newman's  elevation  to  the  sacred 
purple  seemed  to  aflBx  the  sanction  of  Infallibility  to 
principles,  views,  and  methods  against  which  Manning 
had  waged  a  Thirty  Years'  War.  Henceforward  he  felt 
himself  a  stranger  at  the  Vatican,  and  powerless  beyond 
the  limits  of  his  own  jurisdiction. 

Perhaps  this  restriction  of  exterior  activities  in  the 
ecclesiastical  sphere  drove  the  venerable  Cardinal  to  find 
a  vent  for  his  untiring  energies  in  those  various  efforts 
of  social  reform  in  which,  during  the  last  ten  years  of 

42 


CARDINAL    MANNING 

his  life,  he  played  so  conspicuous  a  part.  If  this  be  so, 
though  Rome  may  have  lost,  England  was  unquestion- 
ably a  gainer.  It  was  during  those  ten  years  that  I  was 
honored  by  his  friendship.  The  storms,  the  struggles, 
the  ambitions,  the  intrigues  which  had  filled  so  large  a 
part  of  his  middle  life  lay  far  behind.  He  was  revered, 
useful,  and  I  think  contented,  in  his  present  life,  and 
looked  forward  with  serene  confidence  to  the  final,  and 
not  distant,  issue.  Thrice  happy  is  the  man  who,  in 
spite  of  increasing  infirmity  and  the  loss  of  much  that 
once  made  life  enjoyable,  thus 

"Finds  comfort  in  himself  and  in  his  cause, 
And,  while  the  mortal  mist  is  gathering,  draws 
His  breath  in  confidence  of  Heaven's  applause." 


LORD   HOUGHTON 

It  is  narrated  of  an  ancient  Fellow  of  All  Souls'  that, 
lamenting  the  changes  which  had  transformed  his  Col- 
lege from  a  nest  of  aristocratic  idlers  into  a  society  of 
accomplished  scholars,  he  exclaimed  :  "  Hang  it  all,  sir, 
we  were  sui  ge?ieris."  What  the  nnreformed  Fellows  of 
All  Souls'  were  among  the  common  run  of  Oxford 
dons,  that,  it  may  truly  (and  with  better  syntax)  be 
said,  the  late  Lord  Houghton  was  among  his  fellow- 
citizens.  Of  all  the  men  I  have  ever  known  he  was, 
I  think,  the  most  completely  sui  generis.  His  temper- 
ament and  turn  of  mind  were,  as  far  as  I  know,  quite 
unlike  anything  that  obtained  among  his  predecessors 
and  contemporaries  ;  nor  do  I  see  them  reproduced 
among  the  men  who  have  come  after  him.  His  pecu- 
liarities were  not  external.  His  appearance  accorded 
with  his  position.  He  looked  very  much  what  one  would 
have  expected  in  a  country  gentleman  of  large  means 
and  prosperous  circumstances.  His  early  portraits  show 
that  he  was  very  like  all  the  other  young  gentlemen  of 
fashion  whom  D'Orsay  drew,  with  their  long  hair,  high 
collars,  and  stupendous  neckcloths.  The  admirably  faith- 
ful work  of  Mr.  Lehmann  will  enable  all  posterity  to 
know  exactly  what  he  looked  in  his  later  years,  with  his 
loose-fitting  clothes,  comfortable  figure,  and  air  of  ge- 
nial gravity.  Externally  all  was  normal.  His  peculiar- 
ities were  those  of  mental  habit,  temperament,  and  taste.* 

44 


LORD    HOUGHTON 

As  far  as  I  know,  he  had  not  a  drop  of  foreign  blood  in 
his  veins,  yet  his  nature  was  essentially  un-English. 

A  country  gentleman  who  frankly  preferred  living  in 
London,  and  a  Yorkshireman  who  detested  sport,  made 
a  sufficiently  strange  phenomenon  ;  but  in  Lord  Hough- 
ton the  astonished  world  beheld  as  well  a  politician  who 
wrote  poetry,  a  railway  director  who  lived  in  literature, 
a  libre-penseur  who  championed  the  Tractarians,  a  sen- 
timentalist who  talked  like  a  cynic,  and  a  philosopher 
who  had  elevated  conviviality  to  the  dignity  of  an  exact 
science.  Here,  indeed,  was  a  "living  oxymoron" — a 
combination  of  inconsistent  and  incongruous  qualities 
which  to  the  typical  John  Bull — Lord  Palmerston's  "Fat 
man  with  a  white  hat  in  the  twopenny  omnibus " — was 
a  sealed  and  hopeless  mystery. 

Something  of  this  unlikeness  to  his  fellow-Englishmen 
was  due,  no  doubt,  to  the  fact  that  Lord  Houghton,  the 
only  son  of  a  gifted,  eccentric,  and  indulgent  father,  was 
brought  up  at  home.  The  glorification  of  the  Public 
School  has  been  ridiculously  overdone.  But  it  argues  no 
blind  faith  in  that  strange  system  of  unnatural  restraints 
and  scarcely  more  reasonable  indulgences  to  share  Gib- 
bon's opinion  that  the  training  of  a  Public  School  is  the 
best  adapted  to  the  common  run  of  Englishmen. 

"It  made  us  what  we  were,  sir,"  said  Major  Bagstock 
to  Mr.  Dombey  ;  "we  were  iron,  sir,  and  it  forged  us." 
The  average  English  boy  being  what  he  is  by  nature — "a 
soaring  human  boy,"  as  Mr.  Chadband  called  him  —  a 
Public  School  simply  makes  him  more  so.  It  confirms 
alike  his  characteristic  faults  and  his  peculiar  virtues, 
and  turns  him  out  after  five  or  six  years  that  altogether 
lovely  and  gracious  product — the  Average  Englishman. 
This  may  be  readily  conceded  ;  but,  after  all,  the  pleas- 
antness of  the  world  as  a  place  of  residence,  and  the 
growing  good  of  the  human  race,  do  not  depend  exclu- 

45 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

sivcly  on  the  Average  Englishman ;  and  something  may 
be  said  for  the  system  of  training  which  has  produced 
(not  only  all  famous  foreigners,  for  they,  of  course,  are 
a  negligible  quantity),  but  such  exceptional  Englishmen 
as  William  Pitt,  and  Thomas  Macaulay,  and  John  Keble, 
and  Samuel  Wilberforce,  and  Richard  Monckton  Milnes. 

From  an  opulent  and  cultivated  home  young  Milnes 
passed  to  the  most  famous  college  in  the  world,  and 
found  himself  under  the  tuition  of  Whewell  and  Thirl- 
wall,  and  in  the  companionship  of  Alfred  Tennyson  and 
Julius  Hare,  Charles  Buller  and  John  Sterling — a  high- 
hearted brotherhood  who  made  their  deep  mark  on  the 
spiritual  and  intellectual  life  of  their  own  generation  and 
of  that  which  succeeded  it. 

After  Cambridge  came  foreign  travel,  on  a  scale  and 
plan  quite  outside  the  beaten  track  of  the  conventional 
'^ grand  tour"  as  our  fathers  knew  it.  From  the  Con- 
tinent Richard  Milnes  brought  back  a  gayety  of  spirit,  a 
frankness  of  bearing,  a  lightness  of  touch  which  were 
quite  un-English,  and  "  a  taste  for  French  novels,  French 
cookery,  and  French  wines  "  with  which  Miss  Crawley 
would  have  sympathized.  In  1837  he  entered  Parliament 
as  a  "  Liberal  Conservative  "  for  the  Borough  of  Ponte- 
fract,  over  which  his  father  exercised  considerable  in- 
fluence, and  he  immediately  became  a  conspicuous  figure 
in  the  social  life  of  London.  A  few  years  later  his  posi- 
tion and  character  were  drawn  by  the  hand  of  a  master  in 
a  passage  which  will  well  bear  yet  one  more  reproduc- 
tion : 

"  Mr.  Vavasour  was  a  social  favorite  ;  a  poet,  and  a 
real  poet,  and  a  troubadour,  as  well  as  a  Member  of  Par- 
liament ;  travelled,  sweet-tempered,  and  good-hearted ; 
amusing  and  clever.  With  catholic  sympathies  and  an 
eclectic  turn  of  mind,  Mr.  Vavasour  saw  something  good 
in  everybody  and  everything,  which  is  certainly  amiable, 

46 


LORD    HOUGHTON 

and  perhaps  just,  but  disqualifies  a  man  in  some  degree 
for  the  business  of  life,  which  requires  for  its  conduct  a 
certain  degree  of  prejudice.  Mr.  Vavasour's  breakfasts 
were  renowned.  Whatever  your  creed,  class,  or  country — 
one  might  almost  add  your  character — you  were  a  wel- 
come guest  at  his  matutinal  meal,  provided  you  were 
celebrated.  That  qualification,  however,  was  rigidly  en- 
forced. A  real  philosopher,  alike  from  his  genial  dispo- 
sition and  from  the  influence  of  his  rich  and  various  in- 
formation, Vavasour  moved  amid  the  strife,  sympathizing 
with  every  one  ;  and  perhaps,  after  all,  the  philanthropy 
which  was  his  boast  was  not  untinged  by  a  dash  of  humor, 
of  which  rare  and  charming  quality  he  possessed  no  in- 
considerable portion.  Vavasour  liked  to  know  everybody 
who  was  known,  and  to  see  everything  which  ought  to  be 
seen.  His  life  was  a  gyration  of  energetic  curiosity  ;  an 
insatiable  whirl  of  social  celebrity.  There  was  not  a  con- 
gregation of  sages  and  philosophers  in  any  part  of  Europe 
which  he  did  not  attend  as  a  brother.  He  was  present 
at  the  camp  of  Kalish  in  his  yeomanry  uniform,  and  as- 
sisted at  the  festivals  of  Barcelona  in  an  Andalusian 
jacket.  He  was  everywhere,  and  at  everything  ;  he  had 
gone  down  in  a  diving-bell  and  gone  up  in  a  balloon.  As 
for  his  acquaintances,  he  was  welcomed  in  every  land ; 
his  universal  sympathies  seemed  omnipotent.  Emperor 
and  King,  Jacobin  and  Carbonaro,  alike  cherished  him. 
He  was  the  steward  of  Polish  balls,  and  the  vindicator 
of  Russian  humanity ;  he  dined  with  Louis  Philippe, 
and  gave  dinners  to  Louis  Blanc." 

Lord  Beaconsfield's  penetration  in  reading  character 
and  skill  in  delineating  it  were  never,  I  think,  displayed 
to  better  advantage  than  in  the  foregoing  passage.  Di- 
vested of  its  intentional  and  humorous  exaggerations,  it 
is  not  a  caricature,  but  a  portrait.  It  exhibits  with  sin- 
gular fidelity  the  qualities  which  made  Lord  Houghton,  to 

47 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

the  end  of  his  long  life,  at  once  vniquo  and  lovable.  We 
recognize  the  overflowing  sympathy,  the  keen  interest  in 
life,  the  vivid  faculty  of  enjoyment,  the  absolute  freedom 
from  national  prejudice,  the  love  of  seeing  and  of  being 
seen. 

During  the  Chartist  riots  of  1848  Matthew  Arnold 
wrote  to  his  mother  :  "  Tell  Miss  Martineau  it  is  said 
here  that  Monckton  Milnes  refused  to  be  sworn  in  a 
special  constable,  that  he  might  be  free  to  assume  the 
post  of  President  of  the  Republic  at  a  moment's  notice." 
And  those  who  knew  Lord  Houghton  best  suspect  that 
he  himself  originated  the  joke  at  his  own  expense.  The 
assured  ease  of  young  Milnes's  social  manner,  even  among 
complete  strangers,  so  unlike  the  morbid  self-repression 
and  proud  humility  of  the  typical  Englishman,  won  for 
him  the  nickname  of  "  The  Cool  of  the  Evening."  His 
wholly  un-English  tolerance,  and  constant  effort  to  put 
himself  in  the  place  of  others  whom  the  world  con- 
demned, procured  for  him  from  Carlyle  (who  genuinely 
loved  him)  the  title  of  "  President  of  the  Heaven-and- 
Hell  -  Amalgamation  Company."  Bishop  Wilberforce 
wrote,  describing  a  dinner-party  in  1847  :  "  Carlyle  was 
very  great.  Monckton  Milnes  drew  him  out.  Milnes 
began  the  young  man's  cant  of  the  present  day — the  bar- 
barity and  wickedness  of  capital  punishment ;  that,  after 
all,  we  could  not  be  sure  others  were  wicked,  etc.  Car- 
lyle broke  out  on  him  with :  '  None  of  your  Heaven-and- 
Hell  -  Amalgamation  Companies  for  me.  We  do  know 
what  is  wickedness.  /  know  wicked  men,  men  whom  I 
would  not  live  toith  ;  men  whom  under  some  conceivable 
circumstances  I  would  kill  or  they  should  kill  me.  No, 
Milnes,  there's  no  truth  or  greatness  in  all  that.  It's 
just  poor,  miserable  littleness.'  " 

Lord  Houghton's  faculty  of  enjoyment  was  peculiarly 
keen.    He  warmed  both  hands,  and  indeed  all  his  nature, 

48 


LORD    HOUGHTON 

before  the  fire  of  life.  "All  impulses  of  soul  and  sense" 
affected  him  with  agreeable  emotions ;  no  pleasure  of 
body  or  spirit  came  amiss  to  him.  And  in  nothing  was 
he  more  characteristically  un-English  than  in  the  frank 
manifestation  of  his  enjoyment,  bubbling  over  with  an 
infectious  jollity,  and  never,  even  when  touched  by  years 
and  illness,  taking  his  pleasures  after  that  melancholy 
manner  of  our  nation  to  which  it  is  a  point  of  literary 
honor  not  more  directly  to  allude.  Equally  un-English 
was  his  frank  openness  of  speech  and  bearing.  His  ad- 
dress was  pre-eminently  what  old-fashioned  people  called 
"forthcoming."  It  was  strikingly  —  even  amusingly — 
free  from  that  frigid  dignity  and  arrogant  reserve  for 
which,  as  a  nation,  we  are  so  justly  famed.  I  never  saw 
him  kiss  a  guest  on  both  cheeks,  but  if  I  had  I  should 
not  have  felt  the  least  surprised. 

What  would  have  surprised  me  would  have  been  if  the 
guest  (whatever  his  difference  of  age  or  station)  had  not 
felt  immediately  and  completely  at  home,  or  if  Lord 
Houghton  had  not  seemed  and  spoken  as  if  they  had 
known  one  another  from  the  days  of  short  frocks  and 
skipping-ropes.  There  never  lived  so  perfect  a  host. 
His  sympathy  was  genius,  and  his  hospitality  a  fine  art. 
He  was  peculiarly  sensitive  to  the  claims  of  "Auld  Lang 
Syne,"  and  when  a  young  man  came  up  from  Oxford  or 
Cambridge  to  begin  life  in  London  he  was  certain  to  find 
that  Lord  Houghton  had  travelled  on  the  Continent 
with  his  father,  or  had  danced  with  his  mother,  or  had 
made  love  to  his  aunt,  and  was  eagerly  on  the  look-out 
for  an  opportunity  of  showing  gracious  and  valuable 
kindness  to  the  son  of  his  ancient  friends. 

When  I  first  lived  in  London  Lord  Houghton  was  oc- 
cupying a  house  in  Arlington  Street  made  famous  by 
the  fact  that  Hogarth  drew  its  interior  and  decorations 
in  his  pictures  of  "Mariage  ^  la  Mode."  And  nowhere 
D  49 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

did  the  social  neophyte  receive  a  warmer  welcome,  or 
find  himself  amid  a  more  eclectic  and  representative  so- 
ciety. Queens  of  fashion,  professional  beauties,  authors 
and  authoresses,  ambassadors,  philosophers,  discoverers, 
actors  —  every  one  who  was  famous  or  even  notorious, 
who  had  been  anywhere  or  had  done  anything,  from  a 
successful  speech  in  Parliament  to  a  hazardous  leap  at 
the  Aquarium  —  jostled  one  another  on  the  Avide  stair- 
case and  in  the  gravely  ornate  drawing-rooms.  And 
amid  the  motley  crowd  the  genial  host  was  omnipresent, 
with  a  warm  greeting  and  a  twinkling  smile  for  each  suc- 
cessive guest — a  good  story,  a  happy  quotation,  the  last 
morsel  of  piquant  gossip,  the  newest  theory  of  ethics  or 
of  politics. 

Lord  Houghton's  humor  had  a  quality  which  was  quite 
its  own.  Nothing  was  sacred  to  it — neither  age,  nor  sex, 
nor  subject  was  spared ;  but  it  was  essentially  good-nat- 
ured. It  was  the  property  of  a  famous  spear  to  heal 
the  wounds  which  itself  had  made ;  the  shafts  of  Lord 
Houghton's  fun  needed  no  healing  virtue,  for  they  made 
no  wound.  When  that  saintly  friend  of  temperance  and 
all  good  causes,  Mr.  Cowper  Temple,  was  raised  to  the 
peerage  as  Lord  Mount  Temple,  Lord  Houghton  went 
about  saying  :  "You  know  that  the  precedent  for  Billy 
Cowper's  title  is  in  Don  Juan — 

"'And  Lord  Mount  Coffee-house,  the  Irish  peer, 

Who  killed  himself  for  love,  with  drink,  last  year.'" 

When  a  very  impecunious  youth,  who  could  barely  afford 
to  pay  for  his  cab-fares,  lost  a  pound  to  him  at  whist, 
Lord  Houghton  said,  as  he  pocketed  the  coin,  ''Ah! 
my  dear  boy,  the  great  Lord  Hertford,  whom  foolish  peo- 
ple called  the  wicked  Lord  Hertford — Thackeray's  Steyne 
and  Dizzy's  Monmouth — used  to  say,  '  There  is  no  pleas- 
/  ure  in  winning  money  from  a  man  who  does  not  feel  it.' 

50 


LORD    HOUGHTON 

How  true  that  was  !"  And  when  he  saw  a  yonng  friend 
at  a  club  supping  on  pate  defoie  gras  and  champagne,  he 
said  encouragingly,  "  That's  quite  right.  All  the  pleas- 
/ant  things  in  life  are  unwholesome,  or  expensive,  or 
wrong."  And  amid  these  rather  grim  morsels  of  ex- 
perimental philosophy  he  would  interject  certain  ohiter 
dicta  which  came  straight  from  the  unspoiled  goodness 
of  a  really  kind  heart. 

"All  men  are  improved  by  prosperity,"  he  used  to 
say.  Envy,  hatred,  and  malice  had  no  place  in  his  nature. 
It  was  a  positive  enjoyment  to  him  to  see  other  peo- 
ple happy,  and  a  friend's  success  was  as  gratifying  as 
his  own.  His  life,  though  in  most  respects  singularly 
happy,  had  not  been  without  its  disappointments.  At 
one  time  he  had  nursed  political  ambitions,  and  his  pe- 
culiar knowledge  of  foreign  affairs  had  seemed  to  in- 
dicate a  special  line  of  activity  and  success.  But  things 
went  differently.  He  always  professed  to  regard  his 
peerage  as  "a  Second  Class  in  the  School  of  Life,"  and 
himself  as  a  political  failure.  Yet  no  tinge  of  sourness, 
or  jealousy,  or  cynical  disbelief  in  his  more  successful 
contemporaries  ever  marred  the  geniality  of  his  political 
conversation. 

As  years  advanced  he  became  not  (as  the  manner  of 
most  men  is)  less  Liberal,  but  more  so  ;  keener  in  sym- 
pathy with  all  popular  causes  ;  livelier  in  his  indignation 
against  monopoly  and  injustice.  Thirty  years  ago,  in  the 
struggle  for  the  Reform  Bill  of  1866,  his  character  and 
position  were  happily  hit  off  by  Sir  George  Trevelyan  in 
a  description  of  a  walk  down  Piccadilly  : — 


"  There  on  warm  midsummer  Sundays  Fr5'ston's  Bard  is  wont  to 
weud, 
Whom  the  Ridings  trust   and  honor,  Freedom's  staunch    and 
jovial  friend : 

51 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

Loved  where  shrewd  hard-handed  craftsmen  cluster  round  the 

northern  kilns — 
He  whom  men  style  Baron  Houghton,  but  the  Gods  call  Dicky 

Milnes." 

And  eighteen  years  later  there  was  a  whimsical  pathos 
in  the  phrase  in  which  he  announced  his  fatal  illness  to 
a  friend:  "Yes,  I  am  going  to  join  the  Majority — and 
you  know  I  have  always  preferred  Minorities." 

It  would  be  foreign  to  my  purpose  to  criticize  Lord 
Houghton  as  a  poet.  My  object  in  these  papers  is  mere- 
ly to  record  the  characteristic  traits  of  eminent  men  who 
have  honored  me  with  their  friendship,  and  among  those 
there  is  none  for  whose  memory  I  cherish  a  warmer 
sentiment  of  affectionate  gratitude  than  for  him  whose 
likeness  I  have  now  tried  to  sketch.  His  was  the  most 
precious  of  combinations  —  a  genius  and  a  heart.  An 
estimate  of  his  literary  gifts  and  performances  lies  alto- 
gether outside  my  scope,  but  the  political  circumstances 
of  the  present  hour  impel  me  to  conclude  this  paper  with 
a  quotation  which,  even  if  it  stood  alone,  would,  I  think, 
justify  Lord  Beaconsfield's  judgment  quoted  above — that 
"he  was  a  poet,  and  a  true  poet."  Here  is  the  lyrical 
cry  which,  writing  in  1843,  he  puts  into  the  mouth  of 
Greece  : — 

"  And  if  to  his  old  Asian  seat, 

From  this  usurped,  unnatural  throne, 
The  Turk  is  driven,  'tis  surely  meet 

That  we  again  should  hold  our  own ; 
Be  but  Byzantium's  native  sign 

Of  Cross  on  Crescent*  once  unfurled, 
And  Greece  shall  guard  by  right  divine 
The  portals  of  the  Eastern  world." 

*  The  Turks  adopted  the  sign  of  the  Crescent  from  Byzantium 
after  the  Conquest:  the  Cross  above  the  Crescent  is  found  on  many 
ruins  of  the  Grecian  city — among  others,  on  the  Genoese  castle  on 
the  Bosphorus. 


VI 

RELIGION    AND    MORALITY 

In  these  papers  I  have  been  trying  to  recall  some  not- 
able people  through  whom  I  have  been  brought  into  con- 
tact with  the  social  life  of  the  past.  I  now  propose  to 
give  the  impressions  which  they  conveyed  to  me  of  the 
moral,  material,  and  political  condition  of  England  just 
at  the  moment  when  the  old  order  was  yielding  place  to 
new,  and  modern  society  was  emerging  from  the  birth- 
throes  of  the  French  Kevolution.  All  testimony  seems 
to  me  to  point  to  the  fact  that  towards  the  close  of  the 
last  century,  Eeligion  was  almost  extinct  in  the  highest 
and  lowest  classes  of  English  society.  The  poor  were 
sunk  in  ignorance  and  barbarism,  and  the  aristocracy 
was  honeycombed  by  profligacy.  Morality,  discarded 
alike  by  high  and  low,  took  refuge  in  the  great  Middle 
Class,  then,  as  now,  largely  influenced  by  Evangelical 
Dissent.  A  dissolute  Heir  -  Apparent  presided  over  a 
social  system  in  which  not  merely  religion  but  decency 
was  habitually  disregarded.  The  Princes  of  the  Blood 
were  notorious  for  a  feedom  of  life  and  manners  which 
would  be  ludicrous  if  it  were  not  shocking. 

Here  I  may  cite  an  unpublished  diary  of  Lord  Robert 
Seymour  (son  of  the  first  Marquis  of  Hertford),  who  was 
born  in  1748  and  died  in  1831.  He  was  a  man  of  fashion 
and  a  Member  of  Parliament ;  and  these  are  some  of  the 
incidents  which  he  notes  in  1788  : 

'^  The  Prince  of  Wales  declares  there  is  not  an  honest 
53 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

Woman  in  London,  excepting  Ly.  Parker  and  Ly.  West- 
moreland, and  those  are  so  stupid  he  can  make  nothing 
of  them,  they  are  scarcely  fit  to  blow  their  own  Noses." 

**At  Mrs.  Vaneck's  assembly  last  week,  the  Prince  of 
Wales,  very  much  to  the  honor  of  his  polite  and  elegant 
Behavior,  measured  the  breadth  of  Mrs.  V.  behind  with 
his  Handkerchief,  and  shew'd  the  measurement  to  most 
of  the  Company." 

"  Another  Trait  of  the  P.  of  Wales'  Eespectful  Con- 
duct is  that  at  an  assembly  he  beckoned  to  the  poor  old 
Dutchess  of  Bedford  across  a  large  Room,  and,  when  she 
had  taken  the  trouble  of  crossing  the  Room,  he  very  ab- 
ruptly told  her  he  had  nothing  to  say  to  her." 

"  The  P.  of  W.  called  on  Miss  Vaneck  last  week  with 
two  of  his  Equerries.  On  coming  into  the  Room  he  ex- 
claimed, '  I  mi(.st  do  it ;  I  must  do  it.'  Miss  V.  asked  him 
what  it  was  that  he  was  obliged  to  do,  when  he  winked 
at  St.  Leger  and  the  other  accomplice,  who  lay'd  Miss  V. 
on  the  Floor,  and  the  P.  possitively  wipped  her.  The 
occasion  of  this  extraordinary  behavior  was  occasioned 
by  a  Bett  w'^''.  I  suppose  he  had  made  in  one  of  his  mad 
Fits.  The  next  day,  however,  he  wrote  her  a  peniten- 
tial Letter,  and  she  now  receives  him  on  the  same  footing 
as  ever." 

''  The  Prince  of  Wales  very  much  affronted  the  D.  of 
Orleans  and  his  natural  Brother,  L'Abbe  de  la  Fai,  at 
Newmarket,  L'Abbe  declaring  it  possible  to  charm  a 
Fish  out  of  the  Water,  which  being  disputed  occasioned 
a  Bett ;  and  the  Abbe  stooped  down  over  the  water  to 
tickle  the  Fish  with  a  little  switch.  Fearing,  however, 
the  Prince  s*^.  play  him  some  Trick,  he  declared  he  hoped 
the  P.  w"^.  not  use  him  unfairly  by  throwing  him  into 
the  water.  The  P.  answer'd  him  that  he  w*^.  not  upon 
his  Honor.  The  Abbe  had  no  sooner  began  the  opera- 
tion by  leaning  over  a  little  Bridge  when  the  P.  took  hold 

54 


RELIGION    AND    MORALITY 

of  his  Heels  and  threw  him  into  the  Water,  which  was 
rather  deep.  The  Abbe,  much  enraged,  the  moment  he 
got  himself  out  run  at  the  P.  with  g''.  violence,  a  Horse- 
whip in  his  Hand,  saying  he  thought  very  meanly  of  a  P. 
who  cou'd  not  keep  his  word.  The  P.  flew  fr.  him,  and 
getting  to  the  Inn  locked  himself  in  one  of  the  Rooms." 

"Prince  of  Wales,  Mrs.  FitzHerbert,  the  Duke  and 
Dutchess  of  Cumberland,  and  Miss  Pigott,  Mrs.  F.'s 
companion,  went  a  Party  to  Windsor  during  the  absence 
of  The  Family  fm.  Windsor ;  and  going  to  see  a  cold 
Bath  Miss  P.  expressed  a  great  wish  to  bathe  this  hot 
weather.  The  D.  of  C.  very  imprudently  pushed  her  in, 
and  the  Dut.  of  C.  having  the  presence  of  mind  to  throw 
out  the  Rope  saved  her  when  in  such  a  disagreeable  State 
from  fear  and  surprise  as  to  be  near  sinking.  Mrs.  F. 
went  into  convulsion  Fits,  and  the  Dut.  fainted  away, 
and  the  scene  proved  ridiculous  in  the  extreme,  as  Re- 
port says  the  Duke  called  out  to  Miss  P.  that  he  was  in- 
stantly coming  to  her  in  the  water,  and  continued  un- 
dressing himself.  Poor  Miss  P.'s  clothes  entirely  laid 
upon  the  water,  and  made  her  appear  an  awkward  figure. 
They  afterwards  pushed  in  one  of  the  Prince's  attend- 
ants.^' 

So  much  for  High  Life  at  the  close  of  the  last  century. 
It  is  more  difficult  to  realize  that  we  are  separated  only 
by  some  sixty  years  from  a  time  when  the  Lord  Chan- 
cellor and  a  brother  of  the  Sovereign  conducted  a  busi- 
ness-like correspondence  on  the  question  whether  the 
Chancellor  had  or  had  not  turned  the  Prince  out  of  the 
house  for  insulting  his  wife.  The  journals,  newspapers, 
and  memoirs  of  the  time  throw  (especially  for  those  who 
can  read  between  the  lines)  a  startling  light  on  that 
hereditary  principle  which  plays  so  important  a  part  in 
our  political  system.  All  the  ancillary  vices  flourished 
with  a  rank  luxuriance.     Hard  drinking  was  the  indis- 

55 


\ 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

pensable  accomplishment  of  a  fine  gentleman,  and  great 
estates  were  constantly  changing  owners  at  the  gaming- 
table. 

The  fifth  Duke  of  Bedford  (who  had  the  temerity  to 
attack  Burke's  pension,  and  thereby  drew  down  upon 
himself  the  most  splendid  repartee  in  literature)  was  a 
bosom  friend  of  Fox,  and  lived  in  a  like-minded  society. 
One  night  at  Newmarket  he  lost  a  colossal  sum  at  hazard, 
and  jumping  up  in  a  passion,  he  swore  that  the  dice 
were  loaded,  put  them  in  his  pocket,  and  went  to  bed. 
Next  morning  he  examined  the  dice  in  the  presence  of 
his  boon  companions,  found  that  they  were  not  loaded, 
and  had  to  apologize  and  pay.  Some  years  afterwards 
one  of  the  party  was  lying  on  his  death-bed,  and  he  sent 
for  the  duke.  "I  have  sent  for  you  to  tell  you  that  you 
were  right.  The  dice  were  loaded.  We  waited  till  you 
were  asleep,  went  to  your  bedroom,  took  them  out  of 
your  waistcoat  pocket,  replaced  them  with  unloaded 
ones,  and  retired." 

*'But  suppose  I  had  woke  and  caught  you  doing  it?" 
"  Well,  we  were  desperate  men — and  we  had  jnstols." 
Anecdotes  of  the  same  type  might  be  multiplied  end- 
lessly, and  would  serve  to  confirm  the  strong  impression 
which  all  contemporary  evidence  leaves  upon  the  mind — 
that  the  closing  years  of  the  last  century  witnessed 
the  nadir  of  English  virtue.  The  national  conscience 
was  in  truth  asleep,  and  it  had  a  rude  awakening.  "  I 
have  heard  persons  of  great  weight  and  authority,"  writes 
Mr.  Gladstone,  "such  as  Mr.  Grenville,  and  also,  I  think. 
Archbishop  Howley,  ascribe  the  beginnings  of  a  reviving 
seriousness  in  the  upper  classes  of  lay  society  to  a  reac- 
tion against  the  horrors  and  impieties  of  the  first  French 
Kevolution  in  its  later  stages."  And  this  reviving  serious- 
ness was  by  no  means  confined  to  Nonconformist  circles. 
In  the  last  century  the  religious  activities  of  the  time 

56 


RELIGION    AND    MORALITY 

proceeded  largely  (though  not  exclusively)  from  persons 
who,  from  one  cause  or  another,  were  separated  from  the 
Established  Church.  Much  theological  learning  and 
controversial  skill,  with  the  old  traditions  of  Anglican 
divinity,  had  been  drawn  aside  from  the  highway  of  the 
Establishment  into  the  secluded  byways  of  the  Nonjurors. 
Whitefield  and  the  Wesleys,  and  that  grim  but  grand  old 
Mother  in  Israel,  Selina  Countess  of  Huntingdon,  found 
their  evangelistic  energies  fatally  cramped  by  episcopal 
authority,  and,  quite  against  their  natural  inclinations, 
were  forced  to  act  through  independent  organizations  of 
their  own  making.  But  at  the  beginning  of  this  century 
things  took  a  different  turn. 

The  distinguishing  mark  of  the  religious  revival  which 
issued  from  the  French  Revolution  was  that  it  lived  and 
moved  and  had  its  being  within  the  precincts  of  the 
Church  of  England.  Of  that  Church,  as  it  existed  at  the 
close  of  the  last  century  and  the  beginning  of  this,  the 
characteristic  feature  had  been  a  quiet  worldliness.  The 
typical  clergyman,  as  drawn,  for  instance,  in  Crabbe's 
poems  and  Miss  Austen's  novels,  is  a  well-bred,  respecta- 
ble, and  kindly  person,  playing  an  agreeable  part  in  the 
social  life  of  his  neighborhood,  and  doing  a  secular  work 
of  solid  value,  but  equally  removed  from  the  sacerdotal 
pretensions  of  the  Caroline  divines  and  from  the  awaken- 
ing fervor  of  the  Evangelical  preachers.  The  professors 
of  a  more  spiritual  or  a  more  aggressive  religion  were  at 
once  disliked  and  despised.  Sydney  Smith  was  never 
tired  of  poking  fun  at  the  "sanctified  village  of  Clap- 
ham'^  and  its  "serious"  inhabitants,  at  missionary  effort 
and  revivalist  enthusiasm.  When  Lady  Louisa  Lennox 
was  engaged  to  a  prominent  Evangelical  and  Liberal — 
Mr.  Tighe,  of  Woodstock — her  mother,  the  Duchess  of 
Richmond,  said  :  "  Poor  Louisa  is  going  to  make  a  shock- 
ing marriage — a  man  called  Tiggy,  my  dear,  a  Saint  and 

57 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

a  RadicaL"  When  Lord  Melbourne  had  accidentally 
found  himself  the  unwilling  hearer  of  a  rousing  Evan- 
gelical sermon  about  sin  and  its  consequences,  he  ex- 
claimed in  much  disgust  as  he  left  the  church  :  "Things 
have  come  to  a  jiretty  pass  when  religion  is  allowed  to 
invade  the  sphere  of  private  life  !" 

Arthur  Young  tells  us  that  a  daughter  of  the  first  Lord 
Carrington  said  to  a  visitor  :  "  My  papa  used  to  have 
prayers  in  his  family  ;  hut  none  since  he  has  been  a  Peer." 
A  venerable  Canon  of  Windsor,  who  was  a  younger  son  of 
a  great  family,  told  me  that  his  old  nurse,  when  she  was 
putting  him  and  his  little  brothers  to  bed,  used  to  say  : 
\  "If  you're  very  good  little  boys,  and  go  to  bed  without 
giving  trouble,  you  needn't  say  your  prayers  to-night." 
When  the  late  Lord  Mount  Temple  was  a  youth,  he 
wished  to  take  Holy  Orders ;  and  the  project  so  horrified 
his  parents  that,  after  holding  a  family  council,  they 
plunged  him  into  fashionable  society  in  the  hope  of  dis- 
tracting his  mind  from  religion,  and  accomplished  their 
end  by  making  him  join  the  Blues. 

The  quiet  worldliness  which  characterized  the  English 
Church  as  a  whole  was  unpleasantly  varied  here  and 
there  by  instances  of  grave  and  monstrous  scandal.  The 
system  of  Pluralities  left  isolated  parishes  in  a  condition 
of  practical  heathenism.  Even  bare  morality  was  not 
always  observed.  In  solitary  places  clerical  drunken- 
ness was  common.  On  Saturday  afternoon  the  parson 
would  return  from  the  nearest  town  "market -merry." 
He  consorted  freely  with  the  farmers,  shared  their  hab- 
its, and  spoke  their  language. 

I  have  known  a  lady  to  whom  a  country  clergyman 
said,  pointing  to  the  darkened  windows  where  a  corpse 
lay  awaiting  burial,  "There's  a  stifi  'un  in  that  house."  I 
have  known  a  country  gentleman  in  Shropshire  who  had 
seen  his  own  vicar  drop  the  chalice  at  the  Holy  Com- 

58 


RELIGION    AND    MORALITY 

munion  because  he  was  too  drunk  to  hold  it.  I  know  a 
corner  of  Bedfordshire  where,  within  the  recollection  of 
persons  living  thirty  years  ago,  three  clerical  neighbors 
used  to  meet  for  dinner  at  one  another's  parsonages  in 
turn.  One  winter  afternoon  a  corpse  was  brought  for 
burial  to  the  village  church.  The  vicar  of  the  place  came 
from  his  dinner  so  drunk  that  he  could  not  read  the  ser- 
vice, although  his  sister  supported  him  with  one  hand 
and  held  the  lantern  with  the  other.  He  retired  beaten, 
and  both  his  guests  made  the  same  attempt  with  no  bet- 
ter success.  So  the  corpse  was  left  in  the  church,  and 
the  vicar  buried  it  next  day  when  he  had  recovered  from 
his  debauch. 

While  the  prevailing  tone  of  quiet  worldliness  was  thus 
broken,  here  and  there,  by  horrid  scandals,  in  other 
places  it  was  conspicuously  relieved  by  splendid  instances 
of  piety  and  self-devotion,  such  as  George  Eliot  drew  in 
the  character  of  Edgar  Tryan  of  Milby.  But  the  inno- 
vating clergy  of  the  Evangelical  persuasion  had  to  force 
their  way  through  "  the  teeth  of  clenched  antagonisms." 
The  bishops,  as  a  rule,  were  opposed  to  enthusiasm,  and 
the  bishops  of  that  day  were,  in  virtue  of  their  wealth, 
their  secular  importance,  and  their  professional  cohesive- 
ness,  a  formidable  force  in  the  life  of  the  Church. 

In  the  *^good  old  days"  of  Erastian  Churchmanship, 
before  the  Catholic  revival  had  begun  to  breathe  new  life 
into  ancient  forms,  a  bishop  was  enthroned  by  proxy  ! 
Sydney  Smith,  rebuking  Archbishop  Howley  for  his  un- 
due readiness  to  surrender  cathedral  property  to  the 
Ecclesiastical  Commission,  pointed  out  that  his  conduct 
was  inconsistent  with  having  sworn  at  his  enthrone- 
ment that  he  would  not  alienate  the  possessions  of  the 
Church  of  Canterbury.  "  The  oath,"  he  goes  on,  ''may 
be  less  present  to  the  Archbishop's  memory  from  the  fact 
of  his  not  having  taken  the  oath  in  person,  but  by  the 

59 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

medinm  of  a  gentleman  sent  down  by  the  coach  to  take 
it  for  him — a  practice  which,  though  I  believe  it  to  have 
been  long  established  in  the  Church,  surprised  me,  I  con- 
fess, not  a  little.  A  proxy  to  vote,  if  you  please — a  proxy 
to  consent  to  arrangements  of  estates,  if  wanted  ;  but  a 
proxy  sent  down  in  the  Canterbury  fly  to  take  the  Crea- 
tor to  witness  that  the  Archbishop,  detained  in  town  by 
business  or  pleasure,  will  never  violate  that  foundation 
of  piety  over  which  he  presides — all  this  seems  to  me  an 
act  of  the  most  extraordinary  indolence  ever  recorded  in 
history."  In  this  judgment  the  least  ritualistic  of  lay- 
men will  heartily  concur.  But  from  Archbishop  Howley 
to  Archbishop  Temple  is  a  far  cry,  and  the  latest  en- 
thronement in  Canterbury  Cathedral  must  have  made 
clear  to  the  most  casual  eye  the  enormous  transfor- 
mation which  sixty  years  have  wrought  alike  in  the  in- 
ner temper  and  the  outward  aspects  of  the  Church  of 
England. 

Once  Dr.  Liddon,  walking  with  me  down  the  hall  of 
Christ  Church,  pointed  to  the  portrait  of  an  extremely 
bloated  and  sensual-looking  prelate  on  the  wall,  and  said, 
with  that  peculiar  kind  of  mincing  precision  which  added 
so  much  to  the  point  of  his  sarcasms:  "How  singular, 
dear  friend,  to  reflect  that  that  person  was  chosen,  in  the 
providential  order,  to  connect  Mr.  Keble  with  the  Apos- 
tles \"  And  certainly  this  connecting  link  bore  little  re- 
semblance to  either  end  of  the  chain.  The  considerations 
which  governed  the  selection  of  a  bishop  in  those  good 
old  days  were  indeed  not  a  little  singular.  Perhaps  he 
was  chosen  because  he  was  a  sprig  of  good  family,  like 
Archbishop  Cornwallis,  whose  junketings  at  Lambeth 
drew  down  upon  him  the  ire  of  Lady  Huntingdon  and 
the  threats  of  George  III.,  and  whose  sole  qualification 
for  the  clerical  office  was  that  when  an  undergraduate  he 
had  suffered  from  a  stroke  of  palsy  which  partially  crip- 

60 


RELIGION    AND    MORALITY 

pled  him,  but  "  did  not,  however,  prevent  him  from  hold- 
ing a  hand  at  cards." 

Perhaps  he  had  been,  like  Bishop  Snmner,  "bear- 
leader" to  a  great  man's  son,  and  had  won  the  gratitude 
of  a  powerful  patron  by  extricating  young  hopeful  from 
a  matrimonial  scrape.  Perhaps,  like  Marsh  or  Van  Mil- 
dert,  he  was  a  controversial  pamphleteer  who  had  toss- 
ed a  Calvinist  or  gored  an  Evangelical.  Or,  perhaps,  he 
was,  like  Blomfield  and  Monk,  a  "  Greek  Play  Bishop," 
who  had  annotated  ^schylus  or  composed  a  Sapphic  Ode 
on  a  Royal  marriage.  "Young  Crumpet  is  sent  to 
school ;  takes  to  his  books  ;  spends  the  best  years  of  his 
life  in  making  Latin  verses ;  knows  that  the  Crum  in 
Crumpet  is  long  and  the  pet  short ;  goes  to  the  univer- 
sity ;  gets  a  prize  for  an  Essay  on  the  Dispersion  of  the 
Jews ;  takes  Orders  ;  becomes  a  bishop's  chaplain  ;  has 
a  young  nobleman  for  his  pupil ;  publishes  a  useless  clas- 
sic and  a  Serious  Call  to  the  Unconverted  ;  and  then  goes 
through  the  Elysian  transitions  of  Prebendary,  Dean, 
Prelate,  and  the  long  train  of  purple,  profit,  and  power." 

Few — and  very  few — are  the  adducible  instances  in 
which,  in  the  reigns  of  George  III.,  George  IV.,  and 
William  IV.,  a  bishop  was  appointed  for  evangelistic 
zeal  or  pastoral  efficiency. 

But,  on  whatever  principle  chosen,  the  bishop,  once 
duly  consecrated  and  enthroned,  was  a  formidable  per- 
son, and  surrounded  by  a  dignity  scarcely  less  than  royal. 
"  Nobody  likes  our  bishop,"  says  Parson  Lingon  in  Felix 
Holt.  "  He's  all  Greek  and  greediness,  and  too  proud  to 
dine  with  his  own  father."  People  still  living  can  remem- 
ber the  days  when  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  was  pre- 
ceded by  servants  bearing  flambeaux  when  he  walked 
across  from  Lambeth  Chapel  to  what  were  called  "  Mrs. 
Howley's  Lodgings."  When  the  Archbishop  dined  out 
he  was  treated  with  princely  honors,  and^no  one  left  the 

61 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

party  till  His  Grace  had  made  his  bow.  Once  a  week  he 
dined  in  state  in  the  great  hall  of  Lambeth,  presiding 
over  a  company  of  self-invited  guests — strange  perver- 
sion of  the  old  archiepiscopal  charity  to  travellers  and  the 
poor — while,  as  Sydney  Smith  said,  "the  domestics  of 
the  prelacy  stood,  with  swords  and  bag-wigs,  round  pig 
and  turkey  and  venison,  to  defend,  as  it  were,  the  ortho- 
dox gastronome  from  the  fierce  Unitarian,  the  fell  Bap- 
tist, and  all  the  famished  children  of  dissent."  When 
Sir  John  Coleridge,  father  of  the  late  Lord  Chief  Justice, 
was  a  young  man  at  the  Bar,  he  wished  to  obtain  a  small 
legal  post  in  the  Archbishop's  prerogative  court.  An  in- 
fluential friend  undertook  to  forward  his  application  to 
the  Archbishop.  "  But  remember,"  he  said,  "  in  writing 
your  letter,  that  His  Grace  can  only  be  approached  on 
gilt-edged  paper. "  Archbishop  Harcourt  never  went  from 
Bishopthorpe  to  York  Minster  except  attended  by  his 
chaplains,  in  a  coach  and  six,  while  Lady  Anne  was  made 
to  follow  in  a  pair-horse  carriage,  to  show  her  that  her 
position  was  not  the  same  thing  among  women  that  her 
husband's  was  among  men.  At  Durham,  which  was 
worth  £40,000  a  year,  the  Bishop,  as  Prince  Palatine,  ex- 
ercised a  secular  jurisdiction,  both  civil  and  criminal,  and 
the  commission  at  the  assizes  ran  in  the  name  of  "  Our 
Lord  the  Bishop."  At  Ely,  Bishop  Sparke  gave  so  many 
of  his  best  livings  to  his  family  that  it  was  locally  said 
that  you  could  find  your  way  across  the  Fens  on  a  dark 
night  by  the  number  of  little  Sparkes  along  the  road  ;  and 
when  this  good  prelate  secured  a  residentiary  canonry  for 
his  eldest  son,  the  event  was  so  much  a  matter  of  course 
that  he  did  not  deem  it  worthy  of  special  notice ;  but 
when  he  secured  a  second  canonry  for  his  second  son,  he 
was  so  filled  with  pious  gratitude  that,  as  a  thanksgiving 
offering,  he  gave  a  ball  at  the  Palace  of  Ely  to  all  the 
county  of  Cambridge.     "  And   I  think,"  said   Bishop 

62 


RELIGION    AND    MORALITY 

Woodford,  in  telling  me  the  story,  "that  the  achieve- 
ment and  the  way  of  celebrating  it  were  equally  remark- 
able." 

This  grand  tradition  of  mingled  splendor  and  profit 
ran  down,  in  due  degree,  through  all  ranks  of  the  hier- 
archy. The  poorer  bishoprics  were  commonly  held  in 
conjunction  with  a  rich  deanery  or  prebend,  and  not 
seldom  with  some  important  living ;  so  that  the  most 
impecunious  successor  of  the  Apostles  could  manage  to 
have  four  horses  to  his  carriage  and  his  daily  bottle  of 
Madeira.  Not  so  splendid  as  a  palace,  but  quite  as  com- 
fortable, was  a  first-class  deanery.  A  "Golden  StalP' 
at  Durham  or  St.  Paul's  made  its  occupant  a  rich  man. 
And  even  the  rectors  of  the  more  opulent  parishes  con- 
trived to  "live,"  as  the  phrase  went,  "very  much  like 
gentlemen." 

The  old  Prince  Bishops  are  as  extinct  as  the  dodo. 
The  Ecclesiastical  Commission  has  made  an  end  of  them. 
Bishop  Sumner,  of  Winchester,  who  died  in  1874,  was 
the  last  of  his  race.  But  the  dignified  country  clergy- 
man, who  combined  private  means  with  a  rich  living, 
did  his  county  business  in  person,  and  performed  his  re- 
ligious duties  by  deputy,  survived  into  very  recent  times. 
I  have  known  a  fine  old  specimen  of  this  class — a  man 
who  never  entered  his  church  on  a  week-day,  nor  wore  a 
white  neckcloth  except  on  Sunday ;  who  was  an  active 
magistrate,  a  keen  sportsman,  an  acknowledged  authority 
on  horticulture  and  farming;  and  who  boasted  that  he 
had  never  written  a  sermon  in  his  life,  but  could  alter 
one  with  any  man  in  England — which,  in  truth,  he  did 
so  effectively  that  the  author  would  never  have  recog- 
nized his  own  handiwork.  When  the  neighboring  par- 
sons  first  tried  to  get  up  a  periodical  "clerical  meet- 
ing "  for  the  study  of  theology,  he  responded  genially  to 
the  suggestion  :  "  Oh  yes ;  I  think  it  sounds  a  capital 

63 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

thing,  and  I  suppose  we  shall  finish  up  with  a  rubber 
and  a  bit  of  supper." 

The  reverence  in  which  a  rector  of  this  type  was  held, 
and  the  difference,  not  merely  of  degree,  but  of  kind, 
which  was  supposed  to  separate  him  from  the  inferior 
order  of  curates,  were  amusingly  exemplified  in  the  case 
of  an  old  friend  of  mine.  Keturning  to  his  parish  after 
his  autumn  holiday,  and  noticing  a  woman  at  her  cottage 
door  with  a  baby  in  her  arms,  he  asked,  ''Has  that 
child  been  baptized  ?"  "  Well,  sir,"  replied  the  curtsey- 
y  ing  mother,  "I  shouldn't  like  to  say  as  much  as  that;  but 
^your  young  man  came  and  did  wliat  lie  could." 

Lost  in  these  entrancing  recollections  of  Anglicanism 
as  it  once  was,  but  will  never  be  again,  I  have  wandered 
far  from  my  theme.  I  began  by  saying  that  all  one  has 
read,  all  one  has  heard,  all  one  has  been  able  to  collect  by 
study  or  by  conversation,  points  to  the  close  of  the  last 
century  as  the  low- water  mark  of  English  religion  and 
morality.  The  first  thirty  years  of  this  century  wit- 
nessed a  great  revival,  due  chiefly  to  the  Evangelical 
movement,  not  only,  as  in  the  last  century,  on  lines  out- 
side the  Establishment,  but  in  the  very  heart  and  core  of 
the  Church  of  England.  The  movement,  though  little 
countenanced  by  ecclesiastical  authority,  changed  the 
whole  tone  of  religious  thought  and  life  in  England ;  it 
recalled  men  to  serious  ideas  of  faith  and  duty;  it  curbed 
profligacy,  it  made  decency  fashionable,  it  revived  the 
external  usages  of  piety,  and  it  prepared  the  way  for  that 
later  movement  which,  issuing  from  Oxford  in  1833,  has 
so  momentously  transfigured  the  outward  aspect  of  the 
Church  of  England. 

"  I  do  not  mean  to  say,"  wrote  Mr.  Gladstone  in  1879, 
''  that  the  founders  of  the  Oxford  School  announced,  or 
even  that  they  kneW,  to  how  large  an  extent  they  were 
to  be  pupils  and  continuators  of  the  Evangelical  work, 

64 


RELIGION    AND    MORALITY 

besides  being  something  else.  .  .  .  Their  distinctive 
speech  was  of  Church  and  priesthood,  of  sacraments  and 
services,  as  the  vesture  under  the  varied  folds  of  which 
the  form  of  the  Divine  Redeemer  was  to  be  exhibited 
to  the  world  in  a  way  capable  of,  and  suited  for,  trans- 
mission by  a  collective  body  from  generation  to  gen- 
eration. It  may  well  have  happened  that,  in  straining 
to  secure  for  their  ideas  what  they  thought  their  due 
place,  some  at  least  may  have  forgotten  or  disparaged 
that  personal  and  experimental  life  of  the  human  soul 
with  God  which  profits  by  all  ordinances,  but  is  tied  to 
none,  dwelling  ever,  through  all  its  varying  moods,  in 
the  inner  courts  of  the  sanctuary  whereof  the  walls  are 
not  built  with  hands.  The  only  matter,  however,  with 
which  I  am  now  concerned  is  to  record  the  fact  that  the 
pith  and  life  of  the  Evangelical  teaching,  as  it  consists 
in  the  reintroduction  of  Christ  our  Lord  to  be  the  woof 
and  warp  of  preaching,  was  the  great  gift  of  the  move- 
ment to  the  teaching  Church,  and  has  now  penetrated 
and  possessed  it  on  a  scale  so  general  that  it  may  be 
considered  as  pervading  the  whole  mass." 


VII 

SOCIAL  EQUALIZATION" 

It  was  a  characteristic  saying  of  Talleyrand  that  no 
one  could  conceive  how  pleasant  a  thing  life  was  capa- 
ble of  being  who  had  not  belonged  to  the  French  aris- 
tocracy before  the  Revolution.  There  were,  no  doubt, 
in  the  case  of  that  great  man's  congeners  some  legal  and 
constitutional  prerogatives  which  rendered  their  condi- 
tion supremely  enviable  ;  but  so  far  as  splendor,  state- 
liness,  and  exclusive  privilege  are  elements  of  a  pleasant 
life,  he  might  have  extended  his  remark  to  England. 
Similar  conditions  of  social  existence  here  and  in  France 
were  similarly  and  simultaneously  transformed  by  the 
same  tremendous  upheaval  which  marked  the  final  dis- 
appearance of  the  feudal  spirit  and  the  birth  of  the  mod- 
ern world. 

The  old  order  passed  away,  and  the  face  of  human 
society  was  made  new.  The  law-abiding  and  temper- 
ate genius  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  race  saved  England  from 
the  excesses,  the  horrors,  and  the  dramatic  incidents 
which  marked  this  period  of  transition  in  France  ;  but, 
though  more  quietly  effected,  the  change  in  England 
was  not  less  marked,  less  momentous,  or  less  permanent 
than  on  the  Continent.  I  have  spoken  in  a  former  pa- 
per of  the  religious  revival  which  was  the  most  striking 
result  in  England  of  the  Revolution  in  France.  To-day 
I  shall  say  a  word  about  another  result,  or  group  of  re- 
sults, which  may  be  summarized  as  Social  Equalization. 

66 


SOCIAL    EQUALIZATION 

The  barriers  between  ranks  and  classes  were  to  a  large 
extent  broken  down.  The  prescriptive  privileges  of 
aristocracy  were  reduced.  The  ceremoniousness  of  so- 
cial demeanor  was  diminished.  Great  men  were  con- 
tent with  less  elaboration  and  display  in  their  retinues, 
equipages,  and  mode  of  living.  Dress  lost  ite  richness 
of  ornament  and  its  distinctive  characteristics.  Young 
men  of  fashion  no  longer  bedizened  themselves  in  velvet, 
brocade,  and  gold  lace.  Knights  of  the  Garter  no  longer 
displayed  the  Blue  Ribbon  in  Parliament.  Officers  no 
longer  went  into  society  with  uniform  and  sword.  Bish- 
ops laid  aside  their  wigs  ;  dignified  clergy  discarded  the 
cassock.  Colored  coats,  silk  stockings,  lace  ruffles,  and 
hair  -  powder  survived  only  in  the  footmen's  liveries. 
When  the  Reform  Bill  of  1833  received  the  Royal  As- 
sent, the  Lord  Bathurst  of  the  period,  who  had  been  a 
member  of  the  Duke  of  Wellington's  Cabinet,  solemnly 
cut  off  his  pigtail,  saying  :  "  Ichabod,  for  the  glory  is 
departed";  and  to  the  first  Reformed  Parliament  only 
one  pigtail  was  returned  (it  pertained  to  Mr.  Sheppard, 
M.P.  for  Frome) — an  impressive  symbol  of  social  trans- 
formation. 

The  lines  of  demarcation  between  the  peerage  and  the 
untitled  classes  were  partially  obliterated.  How  clear 
and  rigid  those  lines  had  been  it  is  difficult  for  us  to  con- 
ceive. In  Humphrey  Clinker  the  nobleman  refuses  to 
fight  a  duel  with  the  squire  on  the  ground  of  their  so- 
cial inequality.  Mr.  Wilberforce  declined  a  peerage 
because  it  would  exclude  his  sons  from  intimacy  with 
private  gentlemen,  clergymen,  and  mercantile  families. 
I  have  stated  in  a  previous  paper  that  Lord  Bathurst, 
who  was  born  in  1791,  told  me  that  at  his  private  school 
he  and  the  other  sons  of  peers  sate  together  on  a  priv- 
ileged bench  apart  from  the  rest  of  the  boys.  A  typical 
aristocrat  was  the  first  Marquis  of  Abercorn.     He  died 

67 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

in  1818,  but  he  is  still  revered  in  Ulster  under  the  name 
of  "  The  Owld  Marquis."  This  admirable  nobleman 
always  went  out  shooting  in  his  Blue  Eibbon,  and  re- 
quired his  housemaids  to  wear  white  kid-gloves  when 
they  made  his  bed.  Before  he  married  his  first  cousin, 
Miss  Cecil  Hamilton,  he  induced  the  Prince  Eegent  to 
confer  on  her  the  titular  rank  of  an  Earl's  daughter,  that 
he  might  not  marry  beneath  his  position  ;  and,  when  he 
discovered  that  she  contemplated  eloping,  he  sent  a  mes- 
sage begging  her  to  take  the  family-coach,  as  it  ought 
never  to  be  said  that  Lady  Abercorn  left  her  husband's 
roof  in  a  hack-chaise.  By  such  endearing  traits  do  the 
truly  great  live  in  the  hearts  of  posterity. 

In  the  earlier  part  of  this  century  Dr.  Arnold  in- 
veighed with  characteristic  vigor  against  "  the  insolences 
of  our  aristocracy,  the  scandalous  exemption  of  the 
peers  from  all  ignominious  punishments  short  of  death, 
and  the  insolent  practice  of  allowing  peers  to  vote  in 
criminal  trials  on  their  honor,  while  other  men  vote  on 
their  oath."  But  generally  the  claims  of  rank  and  birth 
were  admitted  with  a  childlike  cheerfulness.  The  high 
function  of  government  was  the  birthright  of  the  few. 
The  people,  according  to  episcopal  showing,  had  nothing 
to  do  with  the  laws  but  to  obey  them.  The  ingenious 
author  of  Russell's  Modern  Europe  states  in  his  preface 
to  that  immortal  work  that  his  object  in  adopting  the 
form  of  a  Series  of  Letters  from  a  Nobleman  to  his  Son 
is  "  to  give  more  Weight  to  the  Moral  and  Political 
Maxims,  and  to  entitle  the  author  to  offer,  without 
seeming  to  dictate  to  the  World,  such  reflections  on  Life 
and  Manners  as  are  supposed  more  immediately  to  belong 
to  the  higher  orders  in  Society."  Nor  were  the  priv- 
ileges of  rank  held  to  pertain  merely  to  temporal  con- 
cerns. When  Selina  Countess  of  Huntingdon  asked 
the  Duchess  of  Buckingham  to  accompany  her  to  a  ser- 

68 


SOCIAL    EQUALIZATION 

mon  of  Whitefield's,  the  Duchess  replied  :  "I  thank  your 
hidyshij)  for  the  information  concerning  the  Method- 
ist preachers ;  their  doctrines  are  most  repulsive,  and 
strongly  tinctured  with  impertinence  and  disrespect 
towards  their  superiors,  in  perpetually  endeavoring  to 
level  all  ranks  and  do  away  with  all  distinctions.  It  is 
monstrous  to  be  told  you  have  a  heart  as  sinful  as  the 
common  wretches  that  crawl  on  the  earth  ;  and  I  cannot 
but  wonder  that  your  ladyship  should  relish  any  senti- 
ments so  much  at  variance  with  high  rank  and  good 
breeding." 

The  exclusive  and  almost  feudal  character  of  the  Eng- 
lish peerage  was  destroyed,  finally  and  of  set  purpose,  by 
Pitt  when  he  declared  that  every  man  who  had  an  estate 
of  ten  thousand  a  year  had  a  right  to  be  a  peer.  In 
Lord  Beaconsfield's  words :  "  He  created  a  plebeian  aris- 
tocracy and  blended  it  with  the  patrician  oligarchy.  He 
made  peers  of  second-rate  squires  and  fat  graziers.  He 
caught  them  in  the  alleys  of  Lombard  Street,  and 
clutched  them  from  the  counting-houses  of  Cornhill." 
This  democratization  of  the  peerage  was  accompanied 
by  great  modifications  of  pomp  and  stateliness  in  the 
daily  life  of  the  peers.  In  the  last  century  the  Duke 
and  Duchess  of  Atholl  were  always  served  at  their  own 
table  before  their  guests,  in  recognition  of  their  royal 
rank  as  Sovereigns  of  the  Isle  of  Man  ;  and  the  Duke  and 
Duchess  of  Argyll  observed  the  same  courteous  usage  for 
no  better  reason  than  because  they  liked  it.  The  "  House- 
hold Book  "  of  Alnwick  Castle  records  the  extraordinary 
amplitude  and  complexity  of  the  domestic  hierarchy 
which  ministered  to  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  North- 
umberland ;  and  at  Arundel  and  Belvoir,  and  Trent- 
ham  and  Wentworth,  the  magnates  of  the  peerage  lived 
in  a  state  little  less  than  regal.  Seneschals  and  gentle- 
men-ushers, ladies-in-waiting  and  pages-of-the-presence 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

adorned  noble  as  well  as  royal  households.  The  private 
chaplain  of  a  great  Whig  duke,  within  the  recollection 
of  people  whom  I  have  known,  used  to  preface  his  ser- 
mon with  a  prayer  for  the  nobility,  and  "  especially  for 
,the  noble  duke  to  whom  I  am  indebted  for  my  scarf" — 
the  badge  of  chaplaincy — accompanying  the  words  by  a 
profound  bow  towards  His  Grace's  pew.  The  last "  run- 
ing  footman"  pertained  to  ''Old  Q."  —  the  notorious 
Duke  of  Queensberry,  who  died  in  1810.  Horace  Wal- 
pole  describes  how,  when  a  guest  playing  cards  at  Wo- 
burn  Abbey  dropped  a  silver  piece  on  the  floor,  and  said, 
"  Oh,  never  mind  ;  let  the  Groom  of  the  Chambers  have 
it/'  the  Duchess  replied,  "  Let  the  carpet-sweeper  have 
it ;  the  Groom  of  the  Chambers  never  takes  anything 
but  gold." 

These  grotesque  splendors  of  domestic  living,  the  al- 
most regal  magnificence  of  private  entertainment,  and  the 
luxurious  habits  that  were  the  distinguishing  features  of 
this  epoch,  went  out  with  the  last  century.  Dr.  John- 
son, who  died  in  1784,  had  already  noted  their  decline. 
There  was  a  general  approach  towards  external  equaliza- 
tion of  ranks,  and  that  approach  was  accompanied  by  a 
general  diffusion  of  material  enjoyments  and  by  a  gradual 
acknowledgment  of  those  rights  to  which  the  masses  laid 
claim. 

The  luxury  of  the  last  century  was  prodigal  rather  than 
refined.  The  art  of  Brillat-Savarin  had  not  arrived  at 
that  perfection  which  it  afterwards  attained,  and  which 
has  so  characterized  the  customs  of  society  down  to  our 
own  day.  There  lies  before  me  as  I  write  a  tavern-bill  for 
a  dinner  for  seven  persons  in  the  year  1751.  I  repro- 
duce the  items  verbally  and  literally,  and  it  will  be  at 
once  perceived  that  the  bill  of  fare  here  recorded  is 
worth  studying  as  a  record  of  gastronomical  exertion  on 
a  heroic  scale : 

70 


SOCIAL    EQUALIZATION 


Bread  and  Beer. 

Potage  de  Tortue. 

Calipash. 

Calipees. 

Un  Pate  de  Jambon  de  Bayone. 

Potage  Julien  Verd. 

Two  Turbots  to  remove  the 
Soops. 

Haunch  of  Venison. 

Palaits  de  Mouton. 

Selle  de  Mouton. 

Salade. 

Saucisses  au  Ecrevisses. 

Boudin  Blanc  a  le  Reine. 

Petits  Pates  a  I'Espaniol. 

Coteletts  a  la  Cardinal. 

Selle  d'Agneau  glace  aux  Co- 
co mbres. 

Saumon  a  la  Chambord. 

Fillets  de  Saules  Royales. 

Une  bisque  de  Lait  de  Maquer- 
eaux. 

Un  Lambert  aux  Innocents. 

Des  Perdrix  Sauce  Vin  de  Cham- 
paign. 

Poulets  a  le  Russiene. 

Ris  de  Veau  en  Arlequin. 

Quee  d'Agneau  a  la  Montaban. 

Dix  Cailles. 


Un  Lapreau. 

Un  Phesant. 

Dix  Ortolans. 

Une  Tourte  de  Cerises. 

Artichaux  a  le  Provensalle. 

Choufleurs  au  flour. 

Cretes  de  Cocq  en  Bonets. 

Amorte  de  Jesuits. 

Salade. 

Chicken. 

Ice  Cream  and  Fruits. 

Fruit  of  various  sorts,  forced. 

Fruit  from  Market. 

Butter  and  Cheese. 

Claret. 

Champaign. 

Burgundy. 

Hock. 

White  wine. 

Madeira. 

Sack. 

Cape. 

Cyprus. 

Neuilly. 

Usquebaugh. 

Spa  and  Bristol  Waters. 

Oranges  and  Lemons. 

Coffee  and  Tea. 

Lemonade. 


The  total  charge  for  this  dinner  for  seven  amounted  to 
£81  lis.  6d.,  and  a  footnote  informs  the  curious  reader 
that  there  was  also  "A  turtle  sent  as  a  Present  to  the 
Company,  and  dress'd  in  a  very  high  Goict  after  the  West 
Indian  Manner."  Old  cookery-books,  such  as  the  im- 
mortal work  of  Mrs.  Glasse,  Dr.  Kitchener's  Cook's  Oracle, 
and  the  anonymous  but  admirable  Culina,  all  concur  in 
their  testimony  to  the  enormous  amount  of  animal  food 
which  went  to  make  an  ordinary  meal,  and  the  amazing 

71 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

variety  of  irreconcilable  ingredients  which  were  combined 
to  form  a  single  dish.  Lord  Beaconsfield,  whose  knowl- 
edge of  this  recondite  branch  of  English  literature  was 
curiously  minute,  thus  describes — no  doubt  from  authen- 
tic sources — a  family  dinner  at  the  end  of  the  last  cen- 
tury : 

"  The  ample  tureen  of  potage  royal  had  a  boned  duck 
swimming  in  its  centre.  At  the  other  end  of  the  table 
scowled  in  death  the  grim  countenance  of  a  huge  roast 
pike,  flanked  on  one  side  by  a  leg  of  mutton  d  la  daube, 
and  on  the  other  by  the  tempting  delicacies  of  Bombarded 
Veal.  To  these  succeeded  that  masterpiece  of  the  culi- 
nary art,  a  grand  Battalia  Pie,  in  which  the  bodies  of 
chickens,  pigeons,  and  rabbits  were  embalmed  in  spices, 
cocks'  combs,  and  savory  balls,  and  well  bedewed  with 
one  of  those  rich  sauces  of  claret,  anchovy,  and  sweet 
herbs  in  which  our  grandfathers  delighted,  and  which 
was  technically  termed  a  Lear.  A  Florentine  tourte  or 
tansy,  an  old  English  custard,  a  more  refined  blamango, 
and  a  riband  jelly  of  many  colors  offered  a  pleasant  relief 
after  these  vaster  inventions,  and  the  repast  closed  with 
a  dish  of  oyster-loaves  and  a  pomepetone  of  larks." 

As  the  old  order  yielded  place  to  the  new,  this  enor- 
mous profusion  of  rich  food  became  by  degrees  less  fash- 
ionable, though  its  terrible  traditions  endured,  through 
the  days  of  Soyer  and  Francatelli,  almost  to  our  own 
time.  But  gradually  refinement  began  to  supersede  pro- 
fusion. Simultaneously  all  forms  of  luxury  spread  from 
the  aristocracy  to  the  plutocracy ;  while  the  middle  and 
lower  classes  attained  a  degree  of  solid  comfort  which 
would  a  few  years  before  have  been  impossible.  Under 
Pitt's  administration  wealth  increased  rapidly.  Great 
fortunes  were  amassed  through  the  improvement  of  agri- 
cultural methods  and  the  application  of  machinery  to 
manufacture.     The  Indian  Nabobs,  as  they  were  called, 

72 


SOCIAL    EQUALIZATION 

became  a  recognized  and  powerful  element  in  society, 
and  their  habits  of  "Asiatic  luxury"  are  represented  by 
Chatham,  Burke,  Voltaire,  and  Home  Tooke  as  produc- 
ing a  marked  effect  upon  the  social  life  of  the  time. 
Lord  Eobert  Seymour  notes  in  his  diary  for  1788  that  a 
fashionable  lady  gave  £100  a  year  to  the  cook  who  super- 
intended her  suppers  ;  that  at  a  sale  of  bric-a-brac  230 
guineas  were  paid  for  a  mirror  ;  and  that,  at  a  ball  given 
by  the  Knights  of  the  Bath  at  the  Pantheon,  the  decora- 
tions cost  upwards  of  £3000.  The  general  consumption 
of  French  and  Portuguese  wines  in  place  of  beer,  which 
had  till  recently  been  the  beverage  even  of  the  affluent, 
was  regarded  by  grave  writers  as  a  most  alarming  sign  of 
the  times,  and  the  cause  of  a  great  increase  of  drunk- 
enness among  the  upper  classes.  The  habits  and  man- 
ners prevalent  in  London  spread  into  the  country.  As 
the  distinction  between  the  nobility,  who,  roughly  speak- 
ing, had  been  the  frequenters  of  the  capital,  and  the 
minor  gentry,  who  had  lived  almost  entirely  on  their  own 
estates,  gradually  disappeared,  the  distinction  between 
town  and  country  life  sensibly  diminished. 

The  enormous  increase  in  the  facilities  for  travelling 
and  for  the  interchange  of  information  contributed  to 
the  same  result ;  and  grave  men  lamented  the  grow- 
ing addiction  of  the  provincial  ladies  to  the  card- 
table,  the  theatre,  the  assembly,  the  masquerade,  and — 
singular  juxtaposition  —  the  Circulating  Library.  The 
process  of  social  assimilation,  while  it  spread  from  town 
to  country,  and  from  nobility  to  gentry,  reached  down 
from  the  gentry  to  the  merchants,  and  from  the  mer- 
chants to  the  tradesmen.  The  merchant  had  his  villa 
three  or  four  miles  away  from  his  place  of  business,  and 
lived  at  Clapham  or  Dnlwich  in  a  degree  and  kind  of 
luxury  which  had  a  few  years  before  been  the  monopoly 
of  the  aristocracy.     The  tradesman  no  longer  inhabited 

73 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

the  rooms  over  his  shop,  bnt  a  mansion  in  Bloomsbnry  or 
Soho.  Where,  fifty  years  before,  one  fire  in  the  kitchen 
served  the  whole  family,  and  one  dish  of  meat  appeared 
on  the  table,  now  a  footman  waited  at  the  banquet  of 
imported  luxuries,  and  small  beer  and  punch  had  made 
way  for  Burgundy  and  Madeira. 

But  the  subject  expands  before  us,  and  it  is  time  to 
close.  Now  I  propose  to  inquire  how  far  this  Social 
Equalization  was  accompanied  by  Social  Amelioration. 


VIII 

SOCIAL    AMELIORATION 

In  my  last  chapter  I  endeavored  to  illustrate  that 
process  of  Social  Equalization  which,  issuing  from  the 
French  Revolution,  so  conspicuously  marked  the  close  of 
the  eighteenth  century  and  the  beginning  of  the  nine- 
teenth. I  concluded  by  saying  that  I  would  next  inquire 
how  far  that  Social  Equalization  was  accompanied  here 
in  England  by  Social  Amelioration.  At  this  point  it  is 
necessary  to  look  back  a  little,  and  to  clear  our  minds  of 
the  delusion  that  an  age  of  splendor  is  necessarily  an  age 
of  refinement.  We  have  seen  something  of  the  regal 
state  and  prodigal  luxury  which  surrounded  the  English 
aristocracy  in  the  middle  of  the  last  century.  Yet  at  no 
period  of  our  national  history  —  unless,  perhaps,  during 
the  orgies  of  the  Restoration — were  aristocratic  morals 
at  so  low  an  ebb.  Edmund  Burke,  in  a  passage  which  is 
as  ethically  questionable  as  it  is  rhetorically  beautiful, 
taught  that  vice  loses  half  its  evil  when  it  loses  all  its 
grossness.  But  in  the  English  society  of  the  last  cen- 
tury grossness  was  as  conspicuous  as  vice  itself,  and  it  in- 
fected not  only  the  region  of  morals,  but  also  that  of 
manners. 

Sir  Walter  Scott  has  described  how,  in  his  youth,  re- 
fined gentlewomen  read  aloud  to  their  families  the  most 
startling  passages  of  the  most  outrageous  authors.  I 
have  been  told  by  one  who  heard  it  from  an  eye-witness 
that  a  great  Whig  duchess,  who  figures  brilliantly  in  the 

75 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

social  and  political  memoirs  of  the  last  century,  turn- 
ing to  the  footman  who  was  waiting  on  her  at  dinner, 
exclaimed,  "I  wish  to  God  that  you  wouldn't  keep 
rubbing  your  great  greasy  belly  against  the  back  of  my 
chair/'  Men  and  women  of  the  highest  fashion  swore 
like  troopers ;  the  Princes  of  the  highest  Blood  Royal, 
who  carried  down  into  the  middle  of  this  century  the 
courtly  habits  of  the  last,  setting  the  example.  Mr. 
Gladstone  told  me  the  following  anecdote,  which  he  had 
from  the  Lord  Pembroke  of  the  period,  who  was  present 
at  the  scene. 

In  the  early  days  of  the  first  Reformed  Parliament  the 
Whig  Government  were  contemplating  a  reform  of  the 
law  of  Church  Rates.  Success  was  certain  in  the  House 
of  Commons,  but  the  Tory  peers,  headed  by  the  Duke 
of  Cumberland,  determined  to  defeat  the  Bill  in  the 
House  of  Lords.  A  meeting  of  the  party  was  held,  when 
it  appeared  that,  in  the  balanced  state  of  parties,  the 
Tory  peers  could  not  effect  their  purpose  unless  they 
could  rally  the  bishops  to  their  aid.  The  question  was. 
What  would  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  do  ?  He  was 
Dr.  Howley,  the  mildest  and  most  apostolic  of  men,  and 
the  most  averse  from  strife  and  contention.  It  was  im- 
possible to  be  certain  of  his  action,  and  the  Duke  of 
Cumberland  posted  off  to  Lambeth  to  ascertain  it.  Ke- 
turning  in  hot  haste  to  the  caucus,  he  burst  into  the 
room  exclaiming,  "  It's  all  right,  my  lords ;  the  Arch- 
bishop says  he  will  be  damned  to  hell  if  he  doesn't  throw 
the  Bill  out."  The  Duke  of  Wellington's  "Twopenny 
Damn  "  has  become  proverbial ;  and  Sydney  Smith  neat- 
ly rebuked  a  similar  propensity  in  Lord  Melbourne  by 
saying,  "  Let  us  assume  everybody  and  everything  to 
be  damned,  and  come  to  the  point."  The  Miss  Berrys, 
who  had  been  the  correspondents  of  Horace  Walpole, 
and  who  carried  down  to  the  fifties  the  most  refined  tra- 

76 


SOCIAL    AMELIORATION 

ditions  of  the  social  life  of  the  last  century,  habitually 
''damned"  the  teakettle  if  it  burned  their  fingers,  and 
called  their  male  friends  by  their  surnames  —  "Come, 
Milnes,  will  you  have  a  cup  of  tea ?"  "Now,  Macaulay, 
we  have  had  enough  of  that  subject." 

So  much,  then,  for  the  refinement  of  the  upper  classes 
in  the  last  century.  Did  the  Social  Equalization  of 
which  we  have  spoken  bring  with  it  anything  in  the  way 
of  Social  Amelioration  ?  A  philosophical  orator  of  my 
time  at  the  Oxford  Union,  now  a  valued  member  of  the 
House  of  Lords,  once  said  in  a  debate  on  national  in- 
temperance that  he  had  made  a  careful  study  of  the  sub- 
ject, and,  with  much  show  of  scientific  analysis,  he  thus 
announced  the  result  of  his  researches :  "  The  causes  of 
national  intemperance  are  three :  first,  the  adulteration 
of  liquor;  second,  the  love  of  drink;  and,  third,  the  de- 
sire for  more.-  Knowing  my  incapacity  to  rival  this 
masterpiece  of  exact  thinking,  I  have  not  thought  it 
necessary  in  these  papers  to  enlarge  on  the  national  habit 
of  excessive  drinking  in  the  late  years  of  the  last  cen- 
tury. The  grossness  and  the  universality  of  the  vice  are 
too  well  known  to  need  elaborating.  All  oral  tradition, 
all  contemporary  literature,  all  satiric  art  tell  the  same 
horrid  tale ;  and  the  number  of  bottles  which  a  single 
toper  would  consume  at  a  sitting  not  only,  in  Burke's 
phrase,  "  outraged  economy,"  but  "  staggered  credi- 
bility." 

In  this  respect,  no  doubt,  the  turn  of  the  century  wit- 
nessed some  social  amelioration  among  the  upper  classes 
of  society.  There  was  a  change,  if  not  in  quantity,  at 
least  in  quality.  Where  port  and  Madeira  had  been 
the  staple  drinks,  corrected  by  libations  of  brandy,  less 
potent  beverages  became  fashionable.  The  late  Mr. 
Thomson  Hankey,  formerly  M.P.  for  Peterborough,  told 
me  that  he  remembered  his  father  coming  home  from 

77 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

the  city  one  day  and  saying  to  his  mother,  "  My  dear,  I 
have  ordered  a  dozen  bottles  of  a  new  white  wine.  It  is 
called  sherry,  and  I  am  told  the  Prince  Regent  drinks 
nothing  else."  The  late  Lord  Derby  told  me  that  the 
cellar  -  books  at  Knowsley  and  St.  James's  Square  had 
been  carefully  kept  for  a  hundred  years,  and  that — con- 
trary to  what  every  one  would  have  supposed — the  num- 
ber of  bottles  drunk  in  a  year  had  not  diminished.  The 
alteration  was  in  the  alcoholic  strength  of  the  wines  con- 
sumed. Burgundy,  port,  and  Madeira  had  made  way 
for  light  claret,  champagne,  and  hock.  That,  even 
under  these  changed  conditions  of  potency,  the  actual 
number  of  bottles  consumed  showed  no  diminution,  was 
accounted  for  by  the  fact  that  at  balls  and  evening  parties 
a  great  deal  more  champagne  was  drunk  than  formerly, 
and  that  luncheon  in  a  large  house  had  now  become  prac- 
tically an  earlier  dinner. 

The  growth  of  these  subsidiary  meals  has  been  a  curi- 
ous feature  of  the  present  century.  We  exclaim  with 
horror  at  such  preposterous  bills  of  fare  as  that  which 
I  quoted  in  my  last  paper,  but  it  should  be  remembered, 
in  justice  to  our  fathers,  that  dinner  was  the  only  sub- 
stantial meal  of  the  day.  Holland  House  was  regarded 
in  the  first  half  of  this  century  as  the  very  ark  and  sanct- 
uary of  refined  luxury,  and  Macaulay  tells  us  that  the 
viands  at  a  breakfast  -  party  there  were  tea  and  coffee, 
eggs,  rolls,  and  butter.  The  fashion  of  going  to  the 
Highlands  for  shooting,  which  began  in  tliis  century, 
popularized  in  England  certain  northern  habits  of 
feeding,  and  a  morning  meal  at  which  game  and  cold 
meat  appeared  was  known  in  England  as  a  "Scotch 
breakfast."  Apparently  it  had  made  some  way  by  1840, 
for  the  l7igolclshy  Legends,  published  in  that  year, 
thus  describe  the  morning  meal  of  the  ill  -  fated  Sir 
Thomas  • 

78 


SOCIAL    AMELIORATION 

"  It  seems  he  had  taken  a  light  breakfast — bacon, 
An  egg,  with  a  little  broiled  haddock  ;  at  most 
A  round  and  a  half  of  some  hot  butter'd  toast ; 
With  a  slice  of  cold  sirloin  from  yesterday's  roast." 

Luncheon,  or  "nuncheon"  as  some  very  ancient  friends 
of  mine  always  called  it,  was  the  merest  mouthful.  Men 
went  out  shooting  with  a  sandwich  in  their  pocket ;  the 
ladies  who  sat  at  home  had  some  cold  chicken  and  wine 
and  water  brought  into  the  drawing-room  on  a  tray. 

Miss  Austen  in  her  novels  always  dismisses  the  mid- 
day meal  under  the  cursory  appellation  of  ''cold  meat." 
The  celebrated  Dr.  Kitchener,  the  sympathetic  author 
of  the  Cook's  Oracle,  writing  in  1825,  says  :  "  Your  lunch- 
eon may  consist  of  a  bit  of  roasted  poultry,  a  basin  of 
beef  tea,  or  eggs  poached,  or  boiled  in  the  shell ;  fish 
plainly  dressed,  or  a  sandwich ;  stale  bread  ;  and  half 
a  pint  of  good  home  -  brewed  beer,  or  toast  and  water, 
with  about  one-fourth  or  one-third  part  of  its  measure 
of  wine."  And  this  prescription  would  no  doubt  have 
worn  an  aspect  of  liberal  concession  to  the  demands  of 
the  patient's  appetite.  It  is  difficult,  by  any  effort  of  a 
morbid  imagination,  to  realize  a  time  when  there  was  no 
five -o'clock  tea;  and  yet  that  most  sacred  of  our  na- 
tional institutions  was  only  invented  by  the  Duchess  of 
Bedford  who  died  in  1857,  and  whose  name  should  surely 
be  enrolled  in  the  Positivist  Calendar  as  a  benefactress 
of  the  human  race.  No  wonder  that  by  seven  o'clock 
our  fathers,  and  even  our  mothers,  were  ready  to  tackle 
a  dinner  of  solid  properties ;  and  even  to  supplement  it 
with  the  amazing  supper  (which  Dr.  Kitchener  pre- 
scribes for  ''those  who  dine  very  late")  of  "gruel,  or 
a  little  bread  and  cheese,  or  pounded  cheese,  and  a  glass 
of  beer." 

This  is  a  long  digression  from  the  subject  of  excessive 
drinking,  with  which,  however,  it  is  not  remotely  con- 

79 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

nectcd  ;  and  both  in  respect  of  drunkenness  and  of  glut- 
tony the  habits  of  English  society  in  the  years  which 
immediately  succeeded  the  French  Revolution  showed 
a  marked  amelioration.  To  a  company  of  enthusiastic 
Wordsworthians  who  were  deploring  their  master's  con- 
fession that  he  got  drunk  at  Cambridge,  Mr.  Shorthouse, 
the  accomplished  author  of  John  Inglesafit,  soothingly 
remarked,  that  in  all  probability  ''Wordsworth's  stand- 
ard of  intoxication  was  miserably  low." 

Simultaneously  with  the  restriction  of  excess  there  was 
seen  a  corresponding  increase  in  refinement  of  taste  and 
manners.  Some  of  the  more  brutal  forms  of  so-called 
sport,  such  as  bull-baiting  and  cock-fighting,  became  less 
fashionable.  The  more  civilized  forms,  such  as  fox- 
hunting and  racing,  increased  in  favor.  -Esthetic  cult- 
ure was  more  generally  diffused.  The  stage  was  at  the 
height  of  its  glory.  Music  was  a  favorite  form  of  public 
recreation.  Great  prices  were  given  for  works  of  art. 
The  study  of  physical  science,  or  "natural  philosophy" 
as  it  was  called,  became  popular.  Public  libraries  and 
local  "book-societies"  sprang  up,  and  there  was  a  wide 
demand  for  encyclopaedias  and  similar  vehicles  for  the 
diffusion  of  general  knowledge.  The  love  of  natural 
beauty  was  beginning  to  move  the  hearts  of  men,  and  it 
found  expression  at  once  in  an  entirely  new  school  of 
landscape-painting,  and  in  a  more  romantic  and  natural 
form  of  poetry. 

But  against  these  marked  instances  of  social  ameliora- 
tion must  be  set  some  darker  traits  of  national  life.  The 
public  conscience  had  not  yet  revolted  against  violence 
and  brutality.  The  prize-ring,  patronized  by  Royalty,  was 
at  its  zenith.  Humanitarians  and  philanthropists  were 
as  yet  an  obscure  and  ridiculed  sect.  The  slave  -  trade, 
though  menaced,  was  still  undisturbed.  Under  a  system 
scarcely  distinguishable  from  slavery,  pauper  children 

80 


SOCIAL    AMELIORATION 

were  bound  over  to  the  owners  of  factories  and  sub- 
jected to  the  utmost  rigor  of  enforced  labor.  The  treat- 
ment of  the  insane  was  darkened  by  incredible  barbari- 
ties. As  late  as  1828  Lord  Shaftesbury  found  that  the 
lunatics  in  Bedlam  were  chained  to  their  straw  beds,  and 
left  from  Saturday  to  Monday  without  attendance,  and 
with  only  bread  and  water  within  their  reach,  while  the 
keepers  were  enjoying  themselves.  Discipline  in  the  ser- 
vices, in  workhouses,  and  in  schools  was  of  the  most 
brutal  type.  Our  prisons  were  unreformed.  Our  penal 
code  was  inconceivably  sanguinary  and  savage.  In  1770 
there  were  one  hundred  and  sixty  capital  offences  on 
the  Statute-book,  and  by  the  beginning  of  this  cen- 
tury the  number  had  greatly  increased.  To  steal  five 
shillings'  worth  of  goods  from  a  shop  was  punishable  by 
death.  A  girl  of  twenty-two  was  hanged  for  receiving  a 
piece  of  woollen  stuff  from  the  man  who  had  stolen  it. 

In  1789  a  woman  was  burned  at  the  stake  for  coining. 
People  still  living  have  seen  the  skeletons  of  pirates  and 
highwaymen  hanging  in  chains.  I  have  heard  that  the 
children  of  the  Bluecoat  School  at  Hertford  were  always 
taken  to  see  the  executions  there;  and  as  late  as  1820 
the  dead  bodies  of  the  Cato  Street  conspirators  were  de- 
capitated in  front  of  Newgate,  and  the  Westminster  boys 
had  a  special  holiday  to  enable  them  to  see  the  sight, 
which  was  thus  described  by  an  eye  -  witness,  the  late 
Lord  de  Ros  :  "  The  executioner  and  his  assistant  cut 
down  one  of  the  corpses  from  the  gallows,  and  placed  it 
in  the  coflBn,  but  with  the  head  hanging  over  on  the 
block.  The  man  with  the  knife  instantly  severed  the 
head  from  the  body,  and  the  executioner,  receiving  it 
in  his  hands,  held  it  up,  saying,  in  a  loud  voice,  '  This 
is  the  head  of  a  traitor.'  He  then  dropped  it  into  the 
coffin,  which,  being  removed,  another  was  brought  for- 
ward, and  they  proceeded  to  cut  down  the  next  body 
F  81 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

and  to  go  through  the  same  ghastly  operation.  It  was 
observed  that  the  mob,  which  was  very  large,  gazed  in 
silence  at  the  hanging  of  the  conspirators,  and  showed 
not  the  least  sympathy ;  but  when  each  head  was  cut  off 
and  held  np  a  loud  and  deep  groan  of  horror  burst  from  all 
sides,  which  was  not  soon  forgotten  by  those  who  heard  it/' 
Duelling  was  the  recognized  mode  of  settling  all  per- 
sonal disputes,  and  no  attempt  was  made  to  enforce  the 
law  which,  theoretically,  treated  the  killing  of  a  man  in 
a  duel  as  wilful  murder;  but,  on  the  other  hand,  debt 
was  punished  with  what  often  was  imprisonment  for  life. 
A  woman  died  in  the  County  Jail  at  Exeter  after  forty- 
five  years'  incarceration  for  a  debt  of  £19.  Crime  was 
rampant.  Daring  burglaries,  accompanied  by  every  cir- 
cumstance of  violence,  took  place  nightly.  Highway- 
men infested  the  suburban  roads,  and  not  seldom  plied 
their  calling  in  the  capital  itself.  The  iron  post  at  the 
end  of  the  narrow  footway  between  the  gardens  of  Dev- 
onshire House  and  Lansdowne  House  is  said  by  tradition 
to  have  been  placed  there  after  a  Knight  of  the  Road 
had  eluded  the  ofl&cers  of  justice  by  galloping  down  the 
stone  steps  and  along  the  flagged  path.  I  have  told  in  a 
former  paper  how  Sir  Hamilton  Seymour  was  "stopped" 
in  his  father's  travelling  carriage  near  the  bottom  of 
Grosvenor  Place.  Young  gentlemen  of  broken  fortunes, 
and  tradesmen  whose  business  had  grown  slack,  swelled 
the  ranks  of  these  desperadoes.  It  was  even  said  that 
an  Irish  prelate  —  Dr.  Twysden,  Bishop  of  Raphoe — 
whose  incurable  love  of  adventure  had  drawn  him  to 
''the  road,"  received  the  penalty  of  his  uncanonical  di- 
version in  the  shape  of  a  bullet  from  a  traveller  whom 
he  had  stopped  on  Hounslow  Heath.  The  Lord  Mayor 
was  made  to  stand  and  deliver  on  Turnham  Green. 
Stars  and  "  Georges  "  were  snipped  off  ambassadors  and 
peers  as  they  entered  St.  James's  Palace. 

82 


SOCIAL    AMELIORATION 

It  is  superfluous  to  multiply  illustrations.  Enough 
has  been  said  to  show  that  the  circumscription  of  aris- 
tocratic privilege  and  the  diffusion  of  material  luxury 
did  not  precipitate  the  millennium.  Social  Equalization 
was  not  synonymous  with  Social  Amelioration.  Some 
improvement,  indeed,  in  the  tone  and  habit  of  society 
we  have  seen  at  the  turn  of  the  century ;  but  it  was  lit- 
tle more  than  a  beginning  I  proceed  to  trace  its  devel- 
opment, and  to  indicate  its  source. 


IX 

THE   EVANGELICAL  INFLUENCE 

I  HAVE  indicated  the  closing  years  of  the  last  century 
as  the  period  at  which  the  moral  and  social  life  of  Eng- 
land touched  its  lowest  point.  In  support  of  this  view 
I  have  cited  the  evidence  of  contemporary  literature  and 
biography,  of  people  whom  I  have  known,  and  of  docu- 
ments which  I  have  examined.  I  have  quoted  Mr.  Glad- 
stone's testimony  that  "persons  of  great  weight  and  au- 
thority" whom  he  knew  in  his  youth  ascribed  the  be- 
ginnings of  a  reviving  seriousness  in  the  upper  classes 
of  lay  society  to  a  reaction  against  the  horrors  and  im- 
pieties of  the  French  Revolution  in  its  later  stages.  I 
closed  my  last  chapter  by  saying  that  some  improvement 
in  our  national  habits  was  discernible  by  the  beginning 
of  the  present  century,  and  that  I  should  next  attempt 
to  trace  the  development  and  to  indicate  the  source  of 
that  improvement. 

Mr.  Lecky  justly  remarks  that  '*it  is  difficult  to  meas- 
ure the  change  which  must  have  passed  over  the  public 
mind  since  the  days  when  the  lunatics  in  Bedlam  were 
constantly  spoken  of  as  one  of  the  sights  of  London  ; 
when  the  maintenance  of  the  African  slave-trade  was  a 
foremost  object  of  English  commercial  policy ;  when 
men  and  even  women  were  publicly  whipped  through 
the  streets ;  when  skulls  lined  the  top  of  Temple  Bar 
and  rotting  corpses  hung  on  gibbets  along  the  Edgware 
Eoad ;  when  persons  exposed  in  the  pillory  not  unfre- 

84 


THE    EVANGELICAL    INFLUENCE 

quently  died  through  the  ill  -  usage  of  the  mob ;  and 
when  the  procession  every  six  weeks  of  condemned 
criminals  to  Tyburn  Avas  one  of  the  great  festivals  of 
London." 

Difficult,  indeed,  it  is  to  measure  so  great  a  change, 
and  it  is  not  wholly  easy  to  ascertain  with  precision  its 
various  and  concurrent  causes,  and  to  attribute  to  each 
its  proper  potency.  But  we  shall  certainly  not  be  wrong 
if,  among  those  causes,  we  assign  a  prominent  place  to 
the  Evangelical  revival  of  religion.  It  would  be  a  mis- 
take to  claim  for  the  Evangelical  movement  the  whole 
credit  of  our  social  reform  and  philanthropic  work. 
Even  in  the  darkest  times  of  spiritual  torpor  and  gen- 
eral profligacy  England  could  show  a  creditable  amount 
of  practical  benevolence.  The  public  charities  of  Lon- 
don were  large  and  excellent.  The  first  Foundling  Hos- 
pital was  established  in  1739  ;  the  first  Magdalen  Hos- 
pital in  1769.  In  1795  it  was  estimated  that  the  annual 
expenditure  on  charity-schools,  asylums,  hospitals,  and 
similar  institutions  in  London  was  £750,000. 

Mr.  Lecky,  whose  study  of  these  social  phenomena  is 
exhaustive,  imagines  that  the  habit  of  unostentatious 
charity,  which  seems  indigenous  to  England,  was  power- 
fully stimulated  by  the  philosophy  of  Shaftesbury  and 
Voltaire,  by  Kousseau's  sentiment  and  Fielding's  fiction. 
This  theory  may  have  something  to  say  for  itself,  and  in- 
deed it  is  antecedently  plausible ;  but  I  can  hardly  be- 
lieve that  purely  literary  influences  counted  for  so  very 
much  in  the  sphere  of  practice.  I  doubt  if  any  consider- 
able number  of  Englishmen  were  effectively  swayed  by  that 
humanitarian  philosophy  of  France  which  in  the  actions 
of  its  maturity  so  awfully  belied  the  promise  of  its  youth. 
We  are,  I  think,  on  surer  ground  when,  admitting  a  na- 
tional bias  towards  material  benevolence,  and  not  deny- 
ing some  stimulus  from  literature  and  philosophy,  we 

85 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

assign  to  the  Evangelical  revival  the  main  credit  of  our 
social  regeneration. 

The  life  of  John  Wesley,  practically  coterminous  with 
the  last  century,  witnessed  both  the  lowest  point  of  our 
moral  degradation  and  also  the  earliest  promise  of  our 
moral  restoration.  He  cannot,  indeed,  be  reckoned  the 
founder  of  the  Evangelical  school ;  that  title  belongs 
rather  to  George  Whitefield.  But  his  influence,  com- 
bined with  that  of  his  brother  Charles,  acting  on  such 
men  as  ISTewton  and  Cecil,  and  Venn  and  Scott,  of  Aston 
Sandford ;  on  Selina  Lady  Huntingdon  and  Mrs.  Hannah 
More ;  on  Howard  and  Clarkson  and  William  Wilber- 
force,  made  a  deep  mark  on  the  Established  Church, 
gave  new  and  permanent  life  to  English  Nonconformity, 
and  sensibly  affected  the  character  and  aspect  of  secular 
society. 

Wesley  himself  had  received  the  governing  impulse  of 
his  life  from  Law's  Serious  Call  and  Christian  Perfection, 
and  he  had  been  a  member  of  one  of  those  religious  soci- 
eties (or  guilds,  as  they  would  now  be  called)  with  which 
the  piety  of  Bishop  Beveridge  and  Dr.  Horneck  had  en- 
riched the  Church  of  England.  These  societies  were,  of 
course,  distinctly  Anglican  in  origin  and  character,  and 
were  stamped  with  the  High  Church  theology.  They 
constituted,  so  to  say,  a  church  within  the  Church,  and, 
though  they  raised  the  level  of  jjersonal  piety  among  their 
members  to  a  very  high  point,  they  did  not  widely  affect 
the  general  tone  and  character  of  national  religion.  The 
Evangelical  leaders,  relying  on  less  exclusively  ecclesias- 
tical methods,  diffused  their  influence  over  a  much  wider 
area,  and,  under  the  impulse  of  their  teaching,  drunken- 
ness, indecency,  and  profanity  were  sensibly  abated.  The 
reaction  from  the  rampant  wickedness  of  the  last  century 
drove  men  into  strict  and  even  puritanical  courses. 

Lord  Robert  Seymour  wrote  on  the  20th  March,  1788 : 

86 


THE    EVANGELICAL    INFLUENCE 

"Tho'Good  Friday,  Mrs.  Sawbridge  has  an  assembly  this 
evening;  tells  her  invited  friends  they  really  arc  only  to 
play  for  a  watch  which  she  has  had  some  time  on  her 
hands  and  wishes  to  dispose  of/' 

"  '  Eeally,  I  declare  'pon  my  honor  it's  true '  (said  Ly. 
Bridget  Talmash  to  the  Dutchess  of  Bolton)  '  that  a  great 
many  people  now  go  to  chapel.  I  saw  a  vast  number  of 
carriages  at  Portman  Chapel  last  Sunday.'  The  Dut. 
told  her  she  always  went  to  chapel  on  Sunday,  and  in  the 
country  read  prayers  in  the  hall  to  her  family." 

But  now  there  began  a  marked  abstention  from  fash- 
ionable forms  of  recreation,  such  as  dancing,  card -play- 
ing, and  the  drama.  Sunday  was  observed  with  a  Judaical 
rigor.  A  more  frequent  attendance  on  public  worship 
was  accompanied  by  the  revival  of  family  prayers  and 
grace  before  meat.  Manuals  of  private  devotion  were 
multiplied.  Eeligions  literature  of  all  kinds  was  pub- 
lished in  great  quantity.  A  higher  standard  of  morals 
was  generally  professed.  Marriage  was  gradually  restored 
in  public  estimation  to  its  proper  place,  not  merely  as  a 
civil  bond  or  social  festival,  but  as  a  chief  solemnity  of 
the  Christian  religion. 

There  was  no  more  significant  sign  of  the  times  than 
this  alteration,  for  in  the  last  century  some  of  the  gravest 
of  our  social  offences  had  clustered  round  the  institution 
of  marriage,  which  was  almost  as  much  dishonored  in 
the  observance  as  in  the  breach.  In  the  first  half  of  that 
century  the  irregular  and  clandestine  weddings,  cele- 
brated without  banns  or  license  in  the  Fleet  Prison,  had 
been  one  of  the  crying  scandals  of  the  middle  and  lower 
classes  ;  and  in  the  second  half,  the  nocturnal  Sittings 
to  Gretna  Green  of  young  couples  who  could  afford  such 
a  Pilgrimage  of  Passion  lowered  the  conception  of  mar- 
riage. It  was  through  the  elopement  of  Miss  Child — 
heiress  of  the  opulent  banker  at  Temple  Bar — from  her 

87 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

ftitner's  house  in  Berkeley  Square  (now  Lord  Rosebcry's) 
that  the  ownership  of  the  great  banking  business  passed 
eventually  to  the  present  Lord  Jersey,  and  the  annals  of 
almost  every  aristocratic  family  contain  the  record  of 
similar  escapades. 

The  Evangelical  movement,  not  content  with  permeat- 
ing England,  sought  to  expand  itself  all  over  the  Empire. 
The  Society  for  the  Propagation  of  the  Gospel  and  the 
Society  for  Promoting  Christian  Knowledge  had  been 
essentially  Anglican  institutions  ;  and  similar  societies, 
but  less  ecclesiastical  in  character,  now  sprang  up  in  great 
numbers.  The  London  Missionary  Society  was  founded 
in  1795,  the  Church  Missionary  Society  in  1799,  the  Re- 
ligious Tract  Society  in  the  same  year,  and  the  British 
and  Foreign  Bible  Society  three  years  later.  All  these 
were  distinctly  creations  of  the  Evangelical  movement, 
as  were  also  the  Societies  for  the  Reformation  of  Man- 
ners and  for  the  Better  Observance  of  the  Lord's  Day. 
Religious  education  found  in  the  Evangelical  party  its 
most  active  friends.  The  Sunday  School  Society  was 
founded  in  1785.  Two  years  later  it  was  educating  two 
hundred  thousand  children.  Its  most  earnest  champions 
were  Rowland  Hill  and  Mrs.  Hannah  More  ;  but  it  is 
worthy  of  note  that  this  excellent  lady,  justly  honored  as 
a  pioneer  of  elementary  education,  confined  her  curricu- 
lum to  the  Bible  and  the  Catechism,  and  "  such  coarse 
works  as  may  fit  the  children  for  servants,  fallow  of  no 
writing  for  the  poor." 

To  the  Society  of  Friends — a  body  not  historically  or 
theologically  Evangelical — belongs  the  credit  of  having 
first  awoke  and  tried  to  rouse  others  to  a  sense  of  the 
horrors  and  iniquities  involved  in  the  slave-trade  ;  but 
the  adhesion  of  William  Wilberforce  and  his  friends  at 
Clapham  identified  the  movement  for  emancipation  with 
the  Evangelical  party.     Never  were  the  enthusiasm,  the 


THE    EVANGELICAL    INFLUENCE 

activity,  the  nncompromising  devotion  to  principle  wliich 
marked  the  Evangelicals  turned  to  better  account.  Their 
very  narrowness  gave  intensity  and  concentration  to  their 
Avork,  and  their  victory,  though  deferred,  was  complete. 
It  has  been  truly  said  that  when  the  English  nation  had 
been  thoroughly  convinced  that  slavery  was  a  curse  which 
must  be  got  rid  of  at  any  cost,  we  cheerfully  paid  down 
as  the  price  of  its  abolition  twenty  millions  in  cash,  and 
threw  the  prosperity  of  our  West  Indian  colonies  into  the 
bargain.  Yet  we  only  spent  on  it  one-tenth  of  what  it 
cost  us  to  lose  America,  and  one-fiftieth  of  what  we  spent 
in  avenging  the  execution  of  Louis  XVI. 

In  spite  of  all  these  conspicuous  and  beneficent  advan- 
ces in  the  direction  of  humanity,  a  great  deal  of  severity, 
and  what  appears  to  us  as  brutality,  remained  embedded 
in  our  social  system.  I  have  spoken  in  previous  papers 
of  the  methods  of  discipline  enforced  in  the  services,  in 
jails,  in  workhouses,  and  in  schools.  A  very  similar 
spirit  prevailed  even  in  the  home.  Children  were  shut 
up  in  dark  closets,  starved,  and  flogged.  Lord  Shaftes- 
bury's father  used  to  knock  him  down,  and  recommended 
his  tutor  at  Harrow  to  follow  the  same  regimen.  Arch- 
deacon Denison  describes  in  his  autobiography  how  he 
and  his  brothers  were  thrashed  by  their  tutor  when  they 
were  youths  of  sixteen  and  had  left  Eton.  The  Faircliild 
Family— WxaX  quaint  picture  of  Evangelical  life  and  man- 
ners— depicts  a  religious  father  punishing  his  quarrelsome 
children  by  taking  them  to  see  a  murderer  hanging  in 
chains,  and  chastising  every  peccadillo  of  infancy  with  a 
severity  which  makes  one  long  to  flog  Mr.  Fairchild. 

But  still,  in  spite  of  all  these  checks  and  drawbacks 
and  evil  survivals,  the  tide  of  humanitarianism  flowed  on, 
and  gradually  altered  the  aspect  of  English  life.  The 
bloody  penal  code  was  mitigated.  Prisons  and  work- 
houses were  reformed.     The  discipline  of  school  and  of 

89 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

home  was  tempered  by  the  infusion  of  mercy  and  rea- 
son into  the  iron  regimen  of  terror.  And  this  general 
diminution  of  brutality  was  not  the  only  form  of  social 
amelioration.  It  was  accompanied  by  a  gradual  but  per- 
ceptible increase  in  decency,  refinement,  and  material 
prosperity.  Splendor  diminished,  and  luxury  remained 
the  monopoly  of  the  rich ;  but  comfort — that  peculiarly 
English  treasure — was  more  generally  diffused.  In  that 
diffusion  the  Evangelicals  had  their  full  share.  Thack- 
eray's admirable  description  of  Mrs.  Hobson  Newcome's 
villa  is  drawn  from  the  life :  "In  Egypt  itself  there  were 
not  more  savory  fleshpots  than  those  at  Clapham.  Her 
mansion  was  long  the  resort  of  the  most  favored  among 
the  religious  world.  The  most  eloquent  expounders,  the 
most  gifted  missionaries,  the  most  interesting  converts 
from  foreign  islands  were  to  be  found  at  her  sumptuous 
table,  spread  with  the  produce  of  her  magnificent  gardens 
...  a  great  shining  mahogany  table,  covered  with  grapes, 
pineapples,  plum-cake,  port  wine,  and  Madeira,  and  sur- 
rounded by  stout  men  in  black,  with  baggy  white  neck- 
cloths, who  took  little  Tommy  on  their  knees  and  ques- 
tioned him  as  to  his  right  understanding  of  the  place 
whither  naughty  boys  were  bound." 

Again,  in  his  paper  on  Dinners  the  same  great  master 
of  a  fascinating  subject  speaks  the  words  of  truth  and 
soberness  when  he  says  :  "  The  inferior  clergy  dine  very 
much  and  well.  I  don't  know  when  I  have  been  better 
entertained,  as  far  as  creature  comforts  go,  than  by  men 
of  very  Low  Church  principles  ;  and  one  of  the  very  best 
repasts  that  ever  I  saw  in  my  life  was  at  Darlington,  given 
by  a  Quaker."  The  same  admirable  tradition  of  material 
comfort  allied  with  Evangelical  opinion  extended  into  my 
own  time.  The  characteristic  weakness  of  Mr.  Stiggins 
has  no  place  in  my  recollection  ;  but  Mr.  Chadband  I 
have  frequently  met  in  Evangelical  circles,  both  inside 

90 


THE    EVANGELICAL    INB^LUENCE 

and  outside  the  Establishment.  Debarred  by  the  strict- 
ness of  their  principles  from  such  amusements  as  dancing, 
cards,  and  theatres,  the  Evangelicals  took  their  pleasure 
in  eating  and  drinking.  They  abounded  in  hospitality  ; 
and  when  they  were  not  entertaining  or  being  entertained, 
occupied  their  evenings  with  systematic  reading,  which 
gave  their  religious  compositions  a  sound  basis  of  general 
culture.  Austerity,  gloom,  and  Pharisaism  had  no  place 
among  the  better  class  of  Evangelicals.  Wilberforce, 
pronounced  by  Madame  de  Stael  to  be  the  most  agreeable 
man  in  England,  was  of  ''  a  most  gay  and  genial  disposi- 
tion"; ''lived  in  perpetual  sunshine,  and  shed  its  radi- 
ance all  around  him."  Legh  Eichmond  was  "  exceed- 
ingly good  company."  Robinson,  of  Leicester,  was  "a 
capital  conversationalist,  very  lively  and  bright."  Alex- 
ander Knox  found  that  Mrs.  Hannah  More  ''  far  exceed- 
ed his  expectations  in  pleasant  manners  and  interesting 
conversation." 

The  increasing  taste  for  solid  comfort  and  easy  living 
which  accompanied  the  development  of  humanitarian- 
ism,  and  in  which,  as  we  have  just  seen,  the  Evangelicals 
had  their  full  share,  was  evidenced  to  the  eye  by  the 
changes  in  domestic  architecture.  There  was  less  pre- 
tension in  exteriors  and  elevations,  but  more  regard  to 
convenience  and  propriety  within.  The  space  was  not 
all  sacrificed  to  reception-rooms.  Bedrooms  were  multi- 
plied and  enlarged  ;  and  fireplaces  were  introduced  into 
every  room,  transforming  the  arctic  "powdering-closet" 
into  a  habitable  dressing-room.  The  diminution  of  the 
"Window  Tax  made  light  and  ventilation  possible.  Per- 
sonal cleanliness  became  fashionable,  and  the  means  of 
attaining  it  were  cultivated.  The  whole  art  or  science 
of  domestic  sanitation — rudimentary  enough  in  its  begin- 
nings— belongs  to  this  century.  The  system  which  went 
before  it  was  too  primitively  abominable  to  bear  elaborate 

91 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

description.  Sir  Robert  Rawlinson,  the  sanitary  expert, 
who  was  called  in  to  inspect  Windsor  Castle  after  the 
Prince  Consort's  death,  reported  that,  within  the  Queen's 
reign,  "  cesspools  full  of  putrid  refuse  and  drains  of  the 
worst  description  existed  beneath  the  basements.  .  .  . 
Twenty  of  these  cesspools  were  removed  from  the  upper 
ward,  and  twenty  -  eight  from  the  middle  and  lower 
wards.  .  .  .  Means  of  ventilation  by  windows  in  Windsor 
Castle  were  very  defective.  Even  in  the  royal  apart- 
ments the  upper  portions  of  the  windows  were  fixed. 
Lower  casements  alone  could  be  opened,  so  that  by  far 
the  largest  amount  of  air  spaces  in  the  rooms  contained 
vitiated  air,  comparatively  stagnant."  When  this  was 
the  condition  of  our  Royal  Palaces,  no  wonder  that  the 
typhoid-germ,  like  Solomon's  spider,  laid  "hold  with 
her  hands,  and  was  in  kings'  palaces."  And  well  might 
Sir  George  Trevelyan,  in  his  ardent  youth,  exclaim  : 

"  We  must  revere  our  sires-,  they  were  a  famous  race  of  men. 
For  every  glass  of  port  we   drink,  ttiey  nothing   thouglit  of 

ten. 
They  lived  above  the  foulest  drains,  they  breathed  the  closest 

air, 
They  had  their  yearly   twinge  of  gout,  but  little  seemed  to 

care. 
But,  though  they  burned  their  coals  at  home,  nor  fetched  their 

ice  from  Wenham, 
They  played  the  man  before  Quebec  and  stormed  the  lines  at 

Blenheim. 
When  sailors  lived  on  mouldy  bread  and  lumps  of  rusty  pork. 
No  Frenchman  dared  to  show  his  nose  between  the  Downs  and 

Cork. 
But  now  that  Jack  gets  beef  and  greens  and  next  his  skin  wears 

flannel, 
The  'Standard'  says  we've  not  a  ship  in  plight  to  hold  the 

Channel." 

So  much  for  Social  Amelioration. 

93 


POLITICS 

These  chapters  are  founded  on  contact  with  some 
very  aged  people  whom,  many  years  ago,  it  was  my  privi- 
lege to  question  about  the  scenes  and  events  of  their 
youth.  From  that  contact  one  naturally  derived  certain 
clear  impressions  concerning  the  condition  of  England 
during  the  latter  part  of  the  last  century  and  the  earlier 
part  of  this.  Of  our  religious,  moral,  and  social  con- 
dition at  that  time  I  have  already  spoken.  Now  I  ap- 
proach our  political  condition,  and  that  was  to  a  great 
extent  the  product  of  the  French  Revolution.  Some 
historians,  indeed,  when  dealing  with  that  inexhaustible 
theme,  have  wrought  cause  and  effect  into  a  circular 
chain,  and  have  reckoned  among  the  circumstances 
which  prepared  the  way  for  the  French  Revolution  the 
fact  that  Voltaire  in  his  youth  spent  three  years  in  Eng- 
land, and  mastered  the  philosophy  of  Bacon,  Newton, 
and  Locke,  the  Deism  of  the  English  Free-thinkers,  and 
the  English  theory  of  political  liberty.  That  these 
doctrines,  recommended  by  Voltaire's  mordant  genius 
and  matchless  style,  and  circulating  in  a  community 
prepared  by  tyranny  to  receive  them,  acted  as  a  power- 
ful solvent  on  the  intellectual  basis  of  French  society,  is 
indeed  likely  enough.  But  to  pursue  the  theme  would 
carry  us  too  far  back  into  the  last  century.  In  dealing 
with  the  recollections  of  persons  whom  one's  self  has 
known,  we  must  dismiss  from  view  the  causes  of  the 

93 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

French  Revolntion.  Onr  business  is  with  its  effect  on 
political  thought  and  action  in  England. 

About  half-way  through  this  century  it  became  the 
fashion  to  make  out  that  the  effect  of  the  Revolution  on 
England  had  been  exaggerated.  Satirists  made  fun  of 
our  traditional  Gallophobia.  In  that  admirable  skit  on 
philosophical  history,  the  introduction  to  the  Book  of 
Snobs,  Thackeray  first  illustrates  his  theme  by  a  reference 
to  the  French  Revolution,  and  then  adds  (in  sarcastic 
brackets):  "Which  the  reader  will  be  pleased  to  have 
introduced  so  early."  Lord  Beaconsfield,  quizzing  John 
Wilson  Croker  in  Coningshy,  says  :  "  He  bored  his  au- 
dience with  too  much  history,  especially  the  French 
Revolution,  which  he  fancied  was  his  forte,  so  that  the 
people  at  last,  whenever  he  made  any  allusion  to  the 
subject,  were  almost  as  much  terrified  as  if  they  had  seen 
the  guillotine,"  In  spite  of  these  gibes,  historians  have 
of  late  years  returned  to  the  earlier  and  truer  view,  and 
have  deliberately  reaffirmed  the  tremendous  effect  of  the 
Revolution  on  English  politics.  The  philosophical  Mr. 
Lecky  says  that  it  influenced  English  history  in  the 
later  years  of  the  last  century  more  powerfully  than  any 
other  event ;  that  it  gave  a  completely  new  direction  to 
the  statesmanship  of  Pitt ;  that  it  instantaneously  shat- 
tered, and  rendered  ineffectual  for  a  whole  generation, 
one  of  the  two  great  parties  in  the  State  ;  and  that  it 
determined  for  a  like  period  the  character  and  complex- 
ion of  our  foreign  policy. 

All  contemporary  Europe — all  subsequent  time — quiv- 
ered with  the  shock  and  sickened  at  the  carnage  ;  but  I 
have  gathered  that  it  was  not  till  the  capture  of  the 
Bastille  that  the  events  which  were  taking  place  in  France 
attracted  any  general  or  lively  interest  in  England.  The 
strifes  of  rival  politicians,  the  illness  of  George  III.,  and 
the  consequent  questions  as  to  the  Regency,  engrossed 

94 


POLITICS 

the  public  mind,  and  what  little  interest  was  felt  in 
foreign  affairs  was  directed  much  more  to  the  possible 
designs  of  Russia  than  to  the  actual  condition  of  France. 
The  capture  of  the  Bastille,  however,  was  an  event  so 
startling  and  so  dramatic  that  it  instantly  arrested  the 
public  attention  of  England,  and  the  events  which  im- 
mediately followed  in  rapid  and  striking  succession  raised 
interest  into  xcitement,  and  excitement  into  passion. 
Men  who  had  been  accustomed  from  their  childhood  to 
regard  the  Monarchy  of  France  as  the  type  of  a  splendid, 
powerful,  and  enduring  polity  now  saw  a  National  Army 
constituted  in  complete  independence  of  the  Crown ;  a 
Representative  Body  assuming  absolute  power  and  de- 
nying the  King's  right  to  dissolve ;  the  King  himself 
borne  in  ignominious  triumph  to  the  palace  of  the  Mu- 
nicipality ;  the  summary  abrogation  of  the  whole  feudal 
system,  which  a  year  before  had  seemed  endowed  with 
perpetual  vigor  ;  an  insurrection  of  the  peasantry  against 
their  territorial  tyrants,  accompanied  by  every  horror  of 
pillage,  arson,  and  bloodshed ;  the  beautiful  and  stately 
Queen  flying,  half  naked,  for  her  life,  amid  the  slaugh- 
ter of  her  sentinels  and  courtiers  ;  and  the  King  himself 
virtually  a  prisoner  in  the  very  Court  which,  up  to  that 
moment,  had  seemed  the  ark  and  sanctuary  of  absolute 
government.  All  over  England  these  events  produced 
their  immediate  and  natural  effect.  Enemies  of  relig- 
ious establishments  took  courage  from  the  downfall  of 
ecclesiastical  institutions  in  France.  Enemies  of  mon- 
archy rejoiced  in  the  formal  and  public  degradation  of 
a  monarch.  Those  who  had  long  been  conscientiously 
working  for  Parliamentary  reform  saw  with  glee  their 
principles  expressed  in  the  most  uncompromising  terms 
in  the  French  Declaration  of  Rights,  and  practically  ap- 
plied in  the  constitution  of  the  Sovereign  Body  of  France. 
These  convinced  and  constitutional  reformers  found 

95 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

new  and  strange  allies.  Serious  advocates  of  Republican 
institutions,  mere  lovers  of  change  and  excitement,  se- 
cret sympathizers  with  lawlessness  and  violence,  seden- 
tary theorists,  reckless  adventurers,  and  local  busybodies 
associated  themselves  in  the  endeavor  to  popularize  the 
French  Revolution  in  England  and  to  imbue  the  English 
mind  with  congenial  sentiments.  The  movement  had 
leaders  of  greater  mark.  The  Duke  of  Norfolk  and  the 
Duke  of  Richmond,  Lord  Lansdowne  and  Lord  Stanhope, 
held  language  about  the  Sovereignty  of  the  People  such 
as  filled  the  reverent  and  orderly  mind  of  Burke  with 
indignant  astonishment.  In  Dr.  Priestley  the  revolution- 
ary party  had  an  eminent  man  of  science  and  a  polemical 
writer  of  rare  power.  Dr.  Price  was  a  rhetorician  whom 
any  cause  would  have  gladly  enlisted  as  its  champion.  The 
Revolution  Society,  founded  to  commemorate  the  capt- 
ure of  the  Bastille,  corresponded  with  the  leaders  of  the 
Revolution,  and  promised  its  alliance  in  a  revolutionary 
compact.  And,  to  add  a  touch  of  comedy  to  these  more 
serious  demonstrations,  the  young  Duke  of  Bedford  and 
other  leaders  of  fashion  discarded  hair-powder,  and  wore 
their  hair  cut  short  in  what  was  understood  to  be  the 
Republican  mode  of  Paris. 

Amid  all  this  hurly-lDurly  Pitt  maintained  a  stately 
and  cautious  reserve.  Probably  he  foresaw  his  oppor- 
tunity in  the  inevitable  disruption  of  his  opponents ; 
and  if  so,  his  foresight  was  soon  realized  by  events.  On 
the  capture  of  the  Bastille,  Fox  exclaimed  :  "  How  much 
the  greatest  event  it  is  that  ever  happened  in  the  world  ! 
and  how  much  the  best !"  At  the  same  time  Burke  was 
writing  to  an  intimate  friend  :  "  The  old  Parisian  feroci- 
ty has  broken  out  in  a  shocking  manner.  It  is  true  that 
this  may  be  no  more  than  a  sudden  explosion.  If  so,  no 
indication  can  be  taken  from  it ;  but  if  it  should  be  char- 
acter  rather  than  accident,  then  that  people  are  not  fit 

9d 


POLITICS 

for  liberty,  and  must  have  a  strong  hand  like  that  of 
their  former  masters  to  coerce  them."  This  contrast 
between  the  judgments  of  the  two  great  Whigs  was  con- 
tinuously and  rapidly  heightened.  Fox  threw  himself 
into  the  revolutionary  cause  with  all  the  ardor  which 
he  had  displayed  on  behalf  of  American  independence. 
Burke  opposed  with  characteristic  vehemence  the  French 
attempt  to  build  up  a  theoretical  Constitution  on  the 
ruins  of  religion,  history,  and  authority ;  and  any  fresh 
act  of  cruelty  or  oppression  which  accompanied  the  proc- 
ess stirred  in  him  that  tremendous  indignation  against 
violence  and  injustice  of  which  Warren  Hastings  had 
learned  by  stern  experience  the  intensity  and  the  vol- 
ume. The  Reflections  on  the  French  Revolution  and  the 
Appeal  from  the  Neiu  to  the  Old  Whigs  expressed  in  the 
most  splendid  English  which  was  ever  written  the  dire 
apprehensions  that  darkened  their  author's  receptive  and 
impassioned  mind.  "  A  voice  like  the  Apocalypse  sound- 
ed over  Engla,nd,  and  even  echoed  in  all  the  Courts  of 
Europe.  Burke  poured  the  vials  of  his  hoarded  vengeance 
into  the  agitated  heart  of  Christendom,  and  stimulated 
the  panic  of  a  world  by  the  wild  pictures  of  his  inspired 
imagination." 

Meanwhile  the  Whig  party  was  rent  in  twain.  The 
Duke  of  Portland,  Lord  Fitzwilliam,  the  Duke  of  Devon- 
shire, Lord  John  Cavendish,  and  Sir  George  Elliot  ad- 
hered to  Burke.  Fox  as  stoutly  opposed  him,  and  was 
reinforced  by  Sheridan,  Francis,  Erskine,  and  Grey. 
The  pathetic  issue  of  the  dispute,  in  Burke's  formal 
repudiation  of  Fox's  friendship,  has  taken  its  place  among 
those  historic  Partings  of  Friends  which  have  modified 
the  course  of  human  society.  As  far  as  can  now  be 
judged,  the  bulk  of  the  country  was  with  Burke,  and 
the  execution  of  Louis  XVI.  was  followed  by  an  aston- 
ishing outbreak  of  popular  feeling.  The  theatres  were 
G  97 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

closed.  The  whole  population  wore  monrning.  The 
streets  rang  with  the  cry,  "  War  with  France  !"  The 
very  pulpits  re-echoed  the  summons.  Fox  himself  was 
constrained  to  declare  to  the  electors  of  Westminster 
that  there  was  no  one  outside  France  who  did  not  con- 
sider this  sad  catastrophe  "as  a  most  revolting  act  of 
cruelty  and  injustice." 

But  it  was  too  late.  The  horror  and  indignation  of 
England  were  not  to  be  allayed  by  soothing  words  of 
decorous  sympathy  from  men  who  had  applauded  the 
earlier  stages  of  the  tragedy,  though  they  wept  at  its  cul- 
mination. The  warlike  spirit  of  the  race  Avas  aroused, 
and  it  spoke  in  the  cry,  "No  peace  with  the  regicides  !" 
Pitt  clearly  discerned  the  feeling  of  the  country,  and 
promptly  gave  effect  to  it.  He  dismissed  Chauvelin,  who 
informally  represented  the  Eevolutionary  Government  in 
London,  and  he  demanded  from  Parliament  an  immedi- 
ate augmentation  of  the  forces. 

On  January  20,  1793,  France  declared  war  against  the 
King  of  England.  The  great  struggle  had  begun,  and 
that  declaration  was  a  new  starting-point  in  the  political 
history  of  England.  English  parties  entered  into  new 
combinations.  English  politics  assumed  a  new  complex- 
ion. Pitt's  imperial  mind  maintained  its  ascendency, 
but  the  drift  of  his  policy  was  entirely  changed.  All  the 
schemes  of  Parliamentary,  financial,  and  commercial  re- 
form in  which  he  had  been  immersed  yielded  place  to  the 
stern  expedients  of  a  Minister  fighting  for  his  life  against 
revolution  abroad  and  sedition  at  home.  For  though, 
as  I  said  just  now,  popular  sentiment  was  stirred  by  the 
King's  execution  into  vehement  hostility  to  France,  still 
the  progress  of  the  war  was  attended  by  domestic  con- 
sequences which  considerably  modified  this  sentiment. 
Hostility  gave  way  to  passive  acquiescence,  and  acquies- 
cence to  active  sympathy. 

98 


POLITICS 

Among  the  causes  which  produced  this  change  were 
the  immense  increase  of  national  burdens  ;  the  sudden 
agglomeration  of  a  lawless  population  in  the  manufactur- 
ing towns  which  the  war  called  into  being  ;  the  growing 
difficulties  in  Ireland,  where  revolutionary  theories  found 
ready  learners  ;  the  absolute  abandonment  of  all  attempts 
at  social  and  political  improvement ;  the  dogged  deter- 
mination of  those  in  authority  to  remedy  no  grievance 
however  patent,  and  to  correct  no  abuse  however  inde- 
fensible. 

The  wise  and  temperate  reforms  for  which  the  times 
were  ripe,  and  which  the  civil  genius  of  Pitt  pre-emi- 
nently qualified  him  to  effect,  were  not  only  suspended, 
but  finally  abandoned  under  the  influence  of  an  insane 
reaction.  The  besotted  resistance  to  all  change  stimu- 
lated the  desire  for  it.  Physical  distress  co-operated 
with  political  discontent  to  produce  a  state  of  popular 
disaffection  such  as  the  whole  preceding  century  had 
never  seen.  The  severest  measures  of  coercion  and  re- 
pression only,  and  scarcely,  restrained  the  populace  from 
open  and  desperate  insurrection,  and  thirty  years  of  this 
experience  brought  England  to  the  verge  of  a  civil  catas- 
trophe. 

Patriotism  was  lost  in  partisanship.  Political  faction 
ran  to  an  incredible  excess.  The  whole  community  was 
divided  into  two  hostile  camps.  Broadly  speaking,  the 
cause  of  France  was  espoused,  with  different  degrees  of 
fervor,  by  all  lovers  of  civil  and  religious  freedom  at 
home.  To  the  Whigs  the  humiliation  of  Pitt  was  a  more 
cherished  object  than  the  defeat  of  Napoleon.  Fox  wrote 
to  a  friend  :  "  The  triumph  of  the  French  Government 
over  the  English  does,  in  fact,  afford  me  a  degree  of 
pleasure  which  it  is  very  difficult  to  disguise  " ;  and  I 
have  gathered  that  this  was  the  prevalent  temper  of 
Whiggery  during  the  long  and  desperate  struggle  with 

99 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECO  LL  P^CTIO  NS 

Republican  and  Imperial  France.  AVhat  Byron  called 
"  The  crowning  carnage,  Waterloo,"  brought  no  abate- 
ment of  political  rancor.  The  question  of  France,  in- 
deed, Avas  eliminated  from  the  contest,  but  its  elimination 
enabled  English  Liberals  to  concentrate  their  hostility  on 
the  Tory  Government  without  incurring  the  reproach  of 
unpatriotic  sympathy  with  the  enemies  of  England. 

In  the  great  fight  between  Tory  and  Whig,  Govern- 
ment and  Opposition,  Authority  and  Freedom,  there  was 
no  quarter.  Neither  age  nor  sex  was  spared.  No  de- 
partment of  national  life  was  untouched  by  the  fury  of 
the  contest.  The  Royal  Family  was  divided.  The  Duke 
of  Cumberland  was  one  of  the  most  dogged  and  unscru- 
pulous leaders  of  the  Tory  party  ;  the  Duke  of  Sussex 
toasted  the  memory  of  Charles  James  Fox,  and  at  a  pub- 
lic dinner  joined  in  singing  "  The  Trumpet  of  Liberty," 
of  which  the  chorus  ran  : 

"  Fall,  tyrants,  fall ! 
These  are  the  days  of  liberty ; 
Fall,  tyrants,  fall !" 

The  Established  Chnrch  was  on  the  side  of  authority ; 
the  Dissenters  stood  for  freedom.  ''  Our  opponents," 
said  Lord  John  Russell,  in  one  of  his  earliest  speeches — 
"  our  opponents  deafen  us  with  their  cry  of  '  Church 
and  King,'  Shall  I  tell  you  what  they  mean  by  it  ? 
They  mean  a  Church  without  the  Gospel  and  a  King 
above  the  law."  An  old  Radical  electioneerer,  describ- 
ing the  activity  of  the  country  clergy  on  the  Tory  side, 
said  :  "In  every  village  we  have  the  Black  Recruiting- 
Sergeant  against  us."  Even  within  sacred  walls  the 
echoes  of  the  fight  were  heard.  The  State  Holy-days — 
Gunpowder  Treason,  Charles  the  Martyr,  the  Restoration, 
and  the  Accession — gave  suitable  occasion  for  sermons  of 
the  most  polemical  vehemence.     Even  the  two  Collects 

100 


POLITICS 

for  the  King  at  the  beginning  of  the  Communion  Service 
were  regarded  as  respectively  Tory  and  Whig.  The  first, 
with  its  bold  assertion  of  the  Divine  Eight  of  Sovereignty, ' 
was  that  which  commended  itself  to  every  loyal  clergy- 
man on  his  promotion;  and  unfavorable  conclusions  were 
drawn  with  regard  to  the  civil  sentiments  of  the  man 
who  preferred  the  colorless  alternative.  As  in  the  Church, 
so  in  our  educational  system.  Oxford,  with  its  Caroline 
and  Jacobite  traditions,  was  the  Tory  University  ;  Cam- 
bridge, the  nursing  mother  of  Whigs  ;  Eton  was  supposed 
to  cherish  a  sentiment  of  romantic  affection  for  the 
Stuarts  ;  Harrow  was  profoundly  Hanoverian.  Even  the 
drama  was  involved  in  political  antipathies,  and  the  most 
powerful  adherents  of  Kean  and  Kemble  were  found  re- 
spectively among  the  leaders  of  Whig  and  Tory  society. 
The  vigor,  heartiness,  and  sincerity  of  this  political 
hatred  put  to  shame  the  more  tepid  convictions  of  our 
degenerate  days.  The  first  Earl  of  Leicester,  better 
known  as  "Coke  of  Norfolk,"  told  my  father  that  when 
he  was  a  child  his  grandfather  took  him  on  his  knee  and 
said,  "Now,  remember,  Tom,  as  long  as  you  live,  never 
trust  a  Tory";  and  he  used  to  say,  "I  never  have,  and, 
by  God,  I  never  will."  The  little  daughter  of  a  great 
Whig  statesman,  accustomed  from  her  cradle  to  hear 
language  of  this  sort,  asked  her  mother,  "Mamma,  are 
Tories  born  wicked,  or  do  they  grow  wicked  afterwards  ?" 
and  her  mother  judiciously  replied,  "  They  are  born 
wicked,  and  grow  worse."  I  well  remember  in  my  youth 
an  eccentric  old  maiden  lady  —  Miss  Harriett  Fanny 
Cuyler — who  had  spent  a  long  and  interesting  life  in  the 
innermost  circles  of  aristocratic  Whiggery,  and  she  never 
would  enter  a  four  -  wheel  cab  until  she  had  extorted 
from  the  driver  his  personal  assurance  that  he  never  had 
cases  of  infectious  disease  in  his  cab,  that  he  was  not  a 
Puseyite,  and  was  a  Whig. 

101 


COLLE'OTiOlNS   AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

I  am  bound  to  say  that  this  vehement  prejudice  was 
I  not  unnatural  in  a  generation  that  remembered,  either 
personally  or  by  immediate  tradition,  the  iron  coercion 
which  Pitt  exercised  in  his  later  days,  and  which  his  suc- 
cessors continued.  The  barbarous  executions  for  high- 
treason  remain  a  blot  on  the  fair  fame  of  the  nineteenth 
century.  Scarcely  less  horrible  were  the  trials  for  sedi- 
tion, which  sent  an  English  clergyman  to  transportation 
for  life  because  he  had  signed  a  petition  in  favor  of 
Parliamentary  reform. 

"The  good  old  Code,  like  Argus,  had  a  hundred  watchful  eyes, 
And  each  old  English  peasant  had  his  good  old  English  spies. 
To  tempt  his  starving  discontent  with  good  old  English  lies, 
Then  call  the  British  yeomanry  to  stop  his  peevish  cries." 

At  Woburn,  a  market-town  forty  miles  from  London, 
under  the  very  shadow  of  a  great  Whig  house,  no  politi- 
cal meeting  could  be  held  for  fear  of  Pitt's  spies,  who 
dropped  down  from  London  by  the  night  coach  and  re- 
turned to  lay  information  against  popular  speakers  ;  and 
when  the  politicians  of  the  place  desired  to  express  their 
sentiments,  they  had  to  repair  secretly  to  an  adjacent 
village  off  the  coach-road,  where  they  were  harangued 
under  cover  of  night  by  the  young  sons  of  the  Duke  of 
Bedford. 

The  ferocity,  the  venality,  the  profligate  expenditure, 
the  delirious  excitement  of  contested  elections  have 
made  an  indelible  mark  on  our  political  history.  In 
1780  King  George  III.  personally  canvassed  the  borough 
of  Windsor  against  the  Whig  candidate.  Admiral  Kep- 
pel,  and  propitiated  a  silk  mercer  by  calling  at  his  shop 
and  saying:  "  The  Queen  wants  a  gown — wants  a  gown. 
No  Keppel.  No  Keppel."  It  is  pleasant  to  reflect  that 
the  friends  of  freedom  were  not  an  inch  behind  the  up- 
holders of  tyranny  in  the  vigor  and  adroitness  of  their 

102 


POLITICS 

electioneering  methods.  Tlie  contest  for  the  City  of 
Westminster  in  1788  is  thus  described  in  the  manu- 
script diary  of  Lord  Robert  Seymour : 

"The  Riotts  at  the  Westr.  Election  are  carried  such 
lengths  the  Military  obliged  to  be  called  into  the  assist- 
ance of  Ld.  Hood's  party.  Several  Persons  have  been 
killed  by  Ld.  J.  Townsend's  Butchers  who  cleave  them  to 
the  Ground  with  their  Cleavers — Mr.  Fox  very  narrowly 
escaped  being  killed  by  a  Bayonet  wch.  w'd  certainly 
have  been  fatal  had  not  a  poor  Black  saved  him  fm.  the 
blow.  Mr.  Macnamara's  Life  is  despaired  of — &  several 
others  have  died  in  the  difft.  Hospitals.  Next  Thurs- 
day decides  the  business. 

"July  25. — Lord  John  Townsend  likely  to  get  the 
Election — what  has  chiefly  contributed  to  Ld.  Hood's 
losing  it  is  that  Mr.  Pulteney  is  his  Friend  —  Mr.  P.  can 
command  15,000  Votes  —  &  as  he  is  universally  disliked 
by  his  Tenants  they  are  unanimous  in  voting  against 
him — wch.  for  Ld.  H.  proves  a  very  unfortunate  circum- 
stance. The  Duke  of  Bedford  sent  £10,000  towards  the 
Expenses  of  the  Opposition. 

"It  is  thought  that  Lord  Hood  will  not  attempt  a 
Scrutiny.  One  of  Ld.  Hood's  votes  was  discovered  to  be 
a  carrot-scraper  in  St.  James's  Market  who  sleeps  in  a 
little  Kennel  about  the  Size  of  a  Hen  Coup. 

"Augt.  5th — The  Election  decided  in  favor  of  Ld. 
J.  T.,  who  was  chaired — and  attend'd  by  a  Procession  of 
a  mile  in  length.  On  his  Head  was  a  Crown  of  Laurel. 
C.  Fox  foUow'd  him  in  a  Landau  &  6  Horses  cover'd  in 
Favors  &  Lawrels.  The  appearance  this  Procession 
made  was  equal  in  splendor  to  the  public  Entry  of  an 
Embassador." 

A  by-election  was  impending  in  Yorkshire,  and  Pitt, 
paying  a  social  visit  to  the  famous  Mrs.  B. — one  of  the 
Whig   Queens  of  the  West  Riding  —  said,  banteringly, 

103 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

**  Well,  the  election  is  all  right  for  us.  Ten  thousand 
guineas  for  the  use  of  our  side  go  down  to  Yorkshire  to- 
night by  a  sure  hand."  "The  devil  they  do  !"  respond- 
ed Mrs.  B.,  and  that  night  the  bearer  of  the  precious 
burden  was  stopped  by  a  highwayman  on  the  Great  North 
Road,  and  the  ten  thousand  guineas  procured  the  return 
of  the  Whig  candidate.  The  electioneering  methods, 
less  adventurous  but  not  more  scrupulous,  of  a  rather 
later  day  have  been  depicted  in  Pickwick,  and  Middle- 
march,  and  Coningshy,  and  My  Novel,  with  all  the  sug- 
gestive fun  of  a  painting  by  Hogarth. 

And  so,  with  startling  incidents  and  culpable  ex- 
pedients and  varying  fortunes,  the  great  struggle  for 
political  freedom  was  conducted  through  the  first  thirty 
years  of  the  present  century,  and  it  has  been  my  interest- 
ing fortune  to  know  some  of  the  toughest  of  the  com- 
batants both  among  the  leaders  and  in  the  rank-and-file. 
And  from  all  of  them  alike — and  not  only  from  them, 
but  from  all  who  remembered  the  time — I  have  gathered 
the  impression  that  all  through  their  earlier  life  the  hid- 
den fires  of  revolution  were  smouldering  under  English 
society,  and  that  again  and  again  an  actual  outbreak  was 
only  averted  by  some  happy  stroke  of  fortune.  At  the 
Election  of  1868  an  old  laborer  in  the  agricultural  Bor- 
ough of  Woodstock  told  a  Liberal  canvasser  from  Oxford 
that  in  his  youth  arms  had  been  stored  in  his  father's 
cottage  so  as  to  be  in  readiness  for  the  outbreak  which 
was  to  take  place  if  Lord  Grey's  Keform  Bill  was  finally 
defeated.  A  Whig  nobleman,  of  great  experience  and 
calm  judgment,  told  me  that  if  our  Gracious  Queen  had 
died  before  she  succeeded  to  the  throne,  and  thereby 
Ernest  Duke  of  Cumberland  had  become  King  on  the 
death  of  William  IV.,  no  earthly  power  could  have  avert- 
ed a  revolution.  "  I  have  no  hesitation  in  saying,"  I 
heard   Mr.  Gladstone   say,  ''that  if  the  repeal  of   the 

104 


POLITICS 

Corn  Laws  had  been  defeated,  or  even  retarded,  we 
should  have  had  a  revolution."  Charles  Kingsley  and 
his  fellow-workers  for  Social  Reform  expected  a  Revo- 
lution in  April,  1848. 

But,  after  all,  these  testimonies  belong  to  the  region  of 
conjecture.  Let  me  close  this  paper  by  a  narrative  of 
fact,  derived  from  the  late  Lord  de  Ros,  an  eye-witness 
of  the  events  which  he  narrated.  Arthur  Thistlewood, 
one  of  the  Oato  Street  conspirators,  was  a  young  Eng- 
lishman who  had  been  in  Paris  in  the  time  of  Robes- 
pierre^s  ascendency,  and  had  there  imbibed  revolution- 
ary sentiments.  He  served  for  a  short  time  as  an  officer 
in  the  English  army,  and  after  quitting  the  service  he 
made  himself  notorious  by  trying  to  organize  a  political 
riot  in  London,  for  which  he  was  tried  and  acquitted. 
He  subsequently  collected  round  him  a  secret  society, 
chiefly  recruited  from  the  class  of  disaffected  citizens, 
and  proceeded  to  arrange  a  plan  by  which  he  hoped  to 
paralyze  Government  and  establish  a  reign  of  Terror  in 
London. 

One  evening,  in  the  winter  of  1819-20,  a  full-dress 
ball  was  given  by  the  Spanish  Ambassador  in  Portland 
Place,  and  was  attended  by  the  Prince  Regent,  the  Royal 
Dukes,  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  the  Ministers  of  State, 
and  the  leaders  of  fashion  and  society.  ''About  one 
o'clock,  just  before  supper,  a  sort  of  order  was  circulated 
among  the  junior  officers  to  draw  towards  the  head  of  the 
stairs,  though  no  one  knew  for  what  reason,  except  that 
an  unusual  crowd  had  assembled  in  the  street.  The  ap- 
pearance of  Lavender  and  one  or  two  well-known  Bow 
Street  officers  in  the  entrance-hall  also  gave  rise  to  sur- 
mises of  some  impending  riot.  While  the  officers  were 
whispering  to  one  another  as  to  what  was  expected  to 
happen,  a  great  noise  was  heard  in  the  street,  the  crowd 
dispersed  with  loud  cries  in  all  directions,  and  a  squad- 

105 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

ron  of  the  2d  Life  Guards  arrived  with  drawn  swords  at 
a  gallop  from  their  barracks  (then  situate  in  King 
Street),  and  rapidly  formed  in  front  of  the  Ambassador's 
house.  Lavender  and  the  Bow  Street  officers  now  with- 
drew ;  the  officers  who  had  gathered  about  the  stair-head 
were  desired  to  return  to  the  ballroom. 

"The  alarm,  whatever  it  might  have  been,  appeared 
to  be  over,  and  before  the  company  broke  up  the  Life 
Guards  had  been  withdrawn  to  their  barracks.  Inside 
the  Ambassador's  house  all  had  remained  so  quiet  that 
very  few  of  the  ladies  present  were  aware  till  next  day 
that  anything  unusual  had  happened,  but  it  became 
known  after  a  short  time  that  the  Duke  of  Wellington 
had  received  information  of  an  intended  attack  upon  the 
house,  which  the  precautions  taken  had  probably  pre- 
vented ;  and  upon  the  trial  of  Thistlewood  and  his  gang 
(for  the  Cato  Street  Conspiracy)  it  came  out,  among 
other  evidence  of  the  various  wild  schemes  they  had 
formed,  that  Thistlewood  had  certainly  entertained  the 
project,  at  the  time  of  this  ball,  to  attack  the  Spanish 
Ambassador's  house,  and  destroy  the  Regent  and  other 
Eoyal  personages,  as  well  as  the  Ministers,  who  were 
sure  to  be,  most  of  them,  present  on  the  occasion." 

For  details  of  the  Cato  Street  Conspiracy  the  curious 
reader  is  referred  to  the  Annual  Register  for  1820,  and 
it  is  strange  to  reflect  that  these  explosions  of  revolution- 
ary rage  occurred  well  within  the  recollection  of  old 
friends  of  mine,  now  living,  among  whom  I  hope  it  is 
not  invidious  to  mention  Lady  Georgiana  Grey  and  Mr. 
Charles  Villiers. 


XI 

PARLIAMENTARY  ORATORY 

In  my  last  chapter  I  endeavored  to  give  some  account 
of  the  political  condition  of  England  during  the  closing 
years  of  the  eighteenth  and  the  earlier  part  of  the  nine- 
teenth century.  Closely  connected  with  the  subject  of 
politics  is  that  of  Parliamentary  Oratory,  and  for  a  right 
estimate  of  oratory  personal  impressions  (such  as  those 
on  which  throughout  these  chapters  I  have  relied)  are 
peculiarly  valuable.  They  serve  both  to  correct  and  to 
confirm.  It  is  impossible  to  form  from  the  perusal  of  a 
printed  speech  anything  but  the  vaguest  and  often  the 
most  erroneous  notion  of  the  eifect  which  it  produced 
upon  its  hearers.  But  from  the  testimony  of  contem- 
poraries one  can  often  gain  the  clew  to  what  is  otherwise 
unintelligible.  One  learns  what  were  the  special  attri- 
butes of  bearing,  voice,  or  gesture,  the  circumstances  of 
delivery,  or  even  the  antecedent  conditions  of  character 
and  reputation,  which  perhaps  doomed  some  magnificent 
peroration  to  ludicrous  failure,  or,  on  the  contrary,  "  or- 
dained strength"  out  of  stammering  lips  and  disjointed 
sentences.  Testimony  of  this  kind  the  circumstances  of 
my  life  have  given  me  in  great  abundance.  My  chain  of 
tradition  links  me  to  the  days  of  the  giants. 

Almost  all  the  old  people  whose  opinions  and  experi- 
ence I  have  recorded  were  connected,  either  personally 
or  through  their  nearest  relations,  with  one  or  other  of 
the  Houses  of  Parliament.    Not  a  few  of  them  were  con- 

107 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

spicnons  actors  on  the  stage  of  political  life.  Lord  Robert 
Seymour,  from  whose  diary  I  have  quoted,  died  in  1831, 
after  a  long  life  spent  in  the  House  of  Commons,  which 
he  entered  in  1771,  and  of  which  for  twenty-three  years 
he  was  a  fellow-member  with  Edmund  Burke.  Let  me 
linger  for  a  moment  on  that  illustrious  name. 

In  originality,  erudition,  and  accomplishments  Burke 
had  no  rival  among  Parliamentary  speakers.  His  prose 
is,  as  we  read  it  now,  the  most  fascinating,  the  most  mu- 
sical, in  the  English  language.  It  bears  on  every  page 
the  divine  lineaments  of  genius.  Yet  an  orator  requires 
something  more  than  mere  force  of  words.  He  must  feel, 
while  he  speaks,  the  pulse  of  his  audience,  and  instinc- 
tively regulate  every  sentence  by  reference  to  their  feel- 
ings. All  contemporary  evidence  shows  that  in  this  kind  of 
oratorical  tact  Burke  was  eminently  deficient.  His  nick- 
name, "The  Dinner-bell  of  the  House  of  Commons," 
speaks  for  his  effect  on  the  mind  of  the  average  M.P. 
"In  vain,"  said  Moore,  "did  Burke's  genius  put  forth 
its  superb  plumage,  glittering  all  over  with  the  hundred 
eyes  of  fancy.  The  gait  of  the  bird  was  heavy  and  awk- 
ward, and  its  voice  seemed  rather  to  scare  than  attract." 
Macaulay  has  done  full  justice  to  the  extraordinary 
blaze  of  brilliancy  which  on  supreme  occasions  threw  these 
minor  defects  into  the  shade.  Even  now  the  old  oak 
rafters  of  Westminster  Hall  seem  to  echo  that  superla- 
tive peroration  which  taught  Mrs.  Siddons  a  higher  flight 
of  tragedy  than  her  own,  and  made  the  accused  procon- 
sul feel  himself  for  the  moment  the  guiltiest  of  men.  Mr. 
Gladstone  avers  that  Burke  was  directly  responsible  for 
I  the  war  with  France,  for  "Pitt  could  not  have  resisted 
1  him."  For  the  more  refined,  the  more  cultivated,  the 
more  speculative  intellects  he  had — and  has — an  almost 
supernatural  charm.  His  style  is,  without  any  exception, 
the  richest,  the  most  picturesque,  the  most  inspired  and 

108 


PARLIAMENTARY    ORATORY 

inspiring  in  the  language.  In  its  glories  and  its  terrors 
it  resembles  the  Apocalypse.  Mr.  Morley,  in  the  most 
striking  of  all  his  critical  essays,  has  truly  said  that  the 
natural  ardor  which  impelled  Burke  to  clothe  his  judg- 
ments in  glowing  and  exaggerated  phrase  is  one  secret  of 
his  power  over  us,  because  it  kindles  in  those  who  are 
capable  of  that  generous  infection  a  respondent  interest 
and  sympathy.  "  He  has  the  sacred  gift  of  inspiring 
men  to  care  for  high  things,  and  to  make  their  lives  at 
once  rich  and  austere."  Such  a  gift  is  rare  indeed.  We 
feel  no  emotion  of  revolt  when  Mackintosh  speaks  of 
Shakespeare  and  Burke  in  the  same  breath  as  being, 
both  of  them,  above  mere  talent.  We  do  not  dissent 
when  Macaulay,  after  reading  Burke's  works  over  again, 
exclaims :  "  How  admirable  !  The  greatest  man  since 
Milton  r 

No  sane  critic  would  dream  of  comparing  the  genius  of 
Pitt  with  that  of  Burke.  Yet  where  Burke  failed  Pitt 
succeeded.  Burke's  speeches,  indeed,  are  a  part  of  our 
national  literature  ;  Pitt  was,  in  spite  of  grave  and  unde- 
niable faults,  the  greatest  Minister  that  ever  governed 
England.  Foremost  among  the  gifts  by  which  he  ac- 
quired his  supreme  ascendency  must  be  placed  his  power 
of  parliamentary  speaking.  He  was  not,  as  his  father 
was,  an  orator  in  that  highest  sense  of  oratory  which  im- 
plies something  of  inspiration,  of  genius,  of  passionate 
and  poetic  rapture  ;  but  he  was  a  public  speaker  of  ex- 
traordinary merit.  He  had  while  still  a  youth  what  Col- 
eridge aptly  termed  "a  premature  and  unnatural  dexterity 
in  the  combination  of  words,"  and  this  developed  into  a 
"  power  of  pouring  forth  with  endless  facility  perfectly 
modulated  sentences  of  perfectly  chosen  language,  which 
as  far  surpassed  the  reach  of  a  normal  intellect  as  the 
feats  of  an  acrobat  exceed  the  capacities  of  a  normal 
body."    It  was  eloquence  particularly  well  calculated  to 

109 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

sway  a  popular  assembly  which  yet  had  none  of  the  char- 
acteristics of  a  mob.  A  sonorous  voice ;  a  figure  and 
bearing  which,  though  stifi  and  ungainly,  were  singular- 
ly dignified  ;  an  inexhaustible  copiousness  of  grandilo- 
quent phrase  ;  a  peculiar  vein  of  sarcasm  which  froze  like 
ice  and  cut  like  steel — these  were  some  of  the  character- 
istics of  the  oratory  which  from  1782  to  1806  at  once 
awed  and  fascinated  the  House  of  Commons. 

"1  never  want  a  word,  but  Mr.  Pitt  always  has  at  com- 
mand the  right  word."  This  was  the  generous  tribute  of 
Pitt's  most  eminent  rival,  Charles  James  Fox.  Never 
were  great  opponents  in  public  life  more  exactly  designed 
by  nature  to  be  contrasts  to  one  another.  While  every 
tone  of  Pitt's  voice  and  every  muscle  of  his  countenance 
expressed  with  unmistakable  distinctness  the  cold  and 
stately  composure  of  his  character,  every  particle  of  Fox's 
mental  and  physical  formation  bore  witness  to  his  fiery 
and  passionate  enthusiasm.  "What  is  that  fat  gentle- 
man in  such  a  passion  about  ?"  was  the  artless  query  of 
the  late  Lord  Eversley,  who,  as  Mr.  Speaker  Shaw-Le- 
fevre,  so  long  presided  over  the  House  of  Commons,  and 
who  as  a  child  had  been  taken  to  the  gallery  to  hear  Mr. 
Fox.  While  Pitt  was  the  embodied  representative  of  Or- 
der, his  rival  was  the  Apostle  and  Evangelist  of  Liberty. 
If  the  master  passion  of  Pitt's  mind  was  enthusiasm  for 
his  country.  Fox  was  swayed  by  the  still  nobler  enthusi- 
asm of  Humanity.  His  style  of  oratory  was  the  exact  re- 
flex of  his  mind.  He  was  unequalled  in  passionate  argu- 
ment, in  impromptu  reply,  in  ready  and  spontaneous 
declamation.  His  style  was  unstudied  to  a  fault.  Though 
he  was  so  intimately  acquainted  with  the  great  models  of 
classical  antiquity,  his  oratory  owed  little  to  the  contact, 
and  nothing  to  the  formal  arts  of  rhetoric — everything  to 
inborn  genius  and  the  greatness  of  the  causes  which  he 
espoused.  It  would  be  difficult  to  point  to  a  single  pub- 
lic 


PARLIAMENTARY    ORATORY 

lie  question  of  his  time  on  which  liis  voice  did  not  sound 
with  rousing  effect,  and  whenever  that  voice  Avas  heard 
it  was  on  behalf  of  freedom,  humanity,  and  the  sacred 
brotherhood  of  nations. 

I  pass  on  to  the  orator  of  whose  masterpiece  Fox  said 
that  "  eloquent  indeed  it  was ;  so  much  so  that  all  he 
had  ever  heard,  all  he  had  ever  read,  dwindled  into  noth- 
ing and  vanished  like  vapor  before  the  sun."  In  spark- 
ling brilliancy  and  pointed  wit,  in  all  the  livelier  graces  of 
declamation  and  delivery,  Sheridan  surpassed  all  his  con- 
temporaries. When  he  concluded  his  speech  on  the 
charge  against  Warren  Hastings  of  plundering  the  Be- 
gums of  Oude,  the  peers  and  strangers  joined  with  the 
House  in  a  tumult  of  applause,  and  could  not  be  restrain- 
ed from  clapping  their  hands  in  ecstasy.  The  House  ad- 
journed in  order  to  recover  its  self-possession.  Pitt  de- 
clared that  this  speech  surpassed  all  the  eloquence  of 
ancient  and  modern  times,  and  possessed  everything  that 
genius  or  art  could  furnish  to  agitate  or  control  the  hu- 
man mind.  And  yet,  while  Sheridan's  supreme  efforts 
met  with  this  startling  success,  his  deficiencies  in  states- 
manship and  character  prevented  him  from  commanding 
that  position  in  the  House  and  in  the  Government  which 
his  oratorical  gift,  if  not  thus  handicapped,  must  have 
secured  for  its  possessor. 

As  a  speaker  in  his  own  sphere  Lord  Erskine  was  not 
inferior  to  the  greatest  of  his  contemporaries.  He  ex- 
celled in  fire,  force,  and  passion.  Lord  Brougham  finely 
described  "that  noble  figure  every  look  of  whose  coun- 
tenance is  expressive,  every  motion  of  whose  form  grace- 
ful ;  an  eye  that  sparkles  and  pierces  and  almost  assures 
victory,  while  it  '  speaks  audience  ere  the  tongue.' "  Yet, 
as  is  so  often  the  case,  the  unequalled  advocate  found 
himself  in  the  House  of  Commons  less  conspicuously  suc- 
cessful than  he  had  been  at  the  Bar.  The  forensic  man- 
Ill 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

ner  of  speech,  in  which  he  was  a  head  and  shoulders 
higher  than  any  of  his  legal  contemporaries,  is,  after  all, 
distinct  from  parliamentary  eloquence. 

The  same  disqualification  attached  to  the  oratory  of 
Lord  Brougham,  whose  speech  at  the  bar  of  the  House  of 
Lords  in  defence  of  Queen  Caroline  had  made  so  deep  an 
impression.  His  extraordinary  fierceness  and  even  vio- 
lence of  nature  pervaded  his  whole  physical  as  well  as 
intellectual  being.  When  he  spoke  he  was  on  springs 
and  quicksilver,  and  poured  forth  sarcasm,  invective,  ar- 
gument, and  declamation  in  a  promiscuous  and  headlong 
flood.  Yet  all  contemporary  evidence  shows  that  his 
grandest  efforts  were  dogged  by  the  inevitable  fate  of  the 
man  who,  not  content  with  excellence  in  one  or  two  de- 
partments, aims  at  the  highest  point  in  all.  In  reading 
his  speeches,  while  one  admires  the  versatility,  one  is 
haunted  by  that  fatal  sense  of  superficiality  which  gave 
rise  to  the  caustic  saying  that  if  the  Lord  Chancellor 
only  knew  a  little  law  he  would  know  something  about 
everything. 

Pitt  died  in  1806,  but  he  lived  long  enough  to  hear  the 
splendid  eloquence  of  Grattan,  rich  in  imagination,  meta- 
phor, and  epigram  ;  and  to  open  the  doors  of  the  official 
hierarchy  to  George  Canning.  Trained  by  Pitt,  and  in 
many  gifts  and  graces  his  superior.  Canning  first  dis- 
played his  full  greatness  after  the  death  of  his  illustrious 
master.  For  twenty  years  he  was  the  most  accomplished 
debater  in  the  House  of  Commons,  and  yet  he  never  suc- 
ceeded in  winning  the  full  confidence  of  the  nation,  nor, 
except  in  foreign  affairs,  in  leaving  his  mark  upon  our 
national  policy.  ''The  English  are  afraid  of  genius," 
and  when  genius  is  displayed  in  the  person  of  a  social  ad- 
venturer, however  brilliant  and  delightful,  it  is  doubly 
alarming.  We  can  judge  of  Canning's  speeches  more  ex- 
actly than  of  those  of  his  predecessors,  for  by  the  time 

112 


PARLIAMENTARY    ORATORY 

that  he  had  become  famoi^s  the  art  of  parliamentary  re- 
porting had  attained  almost  to  its  present  perfection  ; 
and  there  are  none  which  more  amply  repay  critical 
study. 

Second  only  to  Bnrke  in  the  grandeur  and  richness  of 
his  imagery,  he  far  excelled  him  in  readiness,  in  tact,  and 
in  those  adventitious  advantages  which  go  so  far  to  make 
an  orator.  Mr.  Gladstone  still  recalls  the  "light  and 
music"  of  the  eloquence  with  which  he  fascinated  Liver- 
pool seventy  years  ago.  Scarcely  any  one  has  contrib- 
uted so  many  beautiful  thoughts  and  happy  phrases  to 
the  common  stock  of  public  speech.  All  contemporary 
observers  testify  to  the  effect  produced  by  the  proud 
strength  of  his  declaration  on  foreign  policy  :  "I  called 
the  New  World  into  existence  iu  order  to  redress  the 
balance  of  the  Old."  And  the  language  does  not  contain 
a  more  magnificent  or  perfect  image  than  that  in  which 
he  likens  a  strong  nation  at  peace  to  a  great  man-of-war 
lying  calm  and  motionless  till  the  moment  for  action 
comes,  when  "  it  puts  forth  all  its  beauty  and  its  bravery, 
collects  its  scattered  elements  of  strength,  and  awakens 
its  dormant  thunder." 

Lord  John  Russell  entered  the  House  of  Commons  in 
1813,  and  left  it  in  1861.  He  used  to  say  that  in  his 
early  days  there  were  a  dozen  men  there  who  could  make 
a  finer  speech  than  any  one  now  living  ;  "  but,"  he  used 
to  add,  "there  were  not  another  dozen  who  could  under- 
stand what  they  were  talking  about."  I  asked  him  who 
was,  on  the  whole,  the  best  speaker  he  ever  heard.  He 
answered  "Lord  Plunket,"  and  subsequently  gave  as  his 
reason  this — that  while  Pluuket  had  his  national  Irish 
gifts  of  fluency,  brilliant  imagination,  and  ready  wit  very 
highly  developed,  they  were  all  adjuncts  to  his  strong, 
cool,  inflexible  argument.  This,  it  will  be  readily  ob- 
served, is  a  very  rare  and  a  very  striking  combination, 
H  113 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

and  goes  far  to  account  for  the  transcendent  success 
which  riunket  attained  at  the  Bar  and  in  the  House, 
and  alike  in  tlio  Irish  and  the  English  Parliament.  Lord 
Brougham  said  of  him  that  his  eloquence  was  a  continu- 
ous flow  of  ''clear  statement,  close  reasoning,  felicitous 
illustration,  all  confined  strictly  to  the  subject  in  hand  ; 
every  portion,  without  any  exception,  furthering  the  proc- 
ess of  conviction " ;  and  I  do  not  know  a  more  impres- 
sive passage  of  sombre  passion  than  the  peroration  of  his 
first  speech  against  the  Act  of  Union:  "For  my  own 
part,  I  will  resist  it  to  the  last  gasp  of  my  existence,  and 
with  the  last  drop  of  my  blood  ;  and  when  I  feel  the  hour 
of  my  dissolution  approaching  I  will,  like  the  father  of 
Hannibal,  take  my  children  to  the  altar  and  swear  them 
to  eternal  hostility  against  the  invaders  of  their  country's 
freedom." 

Before  the  death  of  Pitt  another  great  man  had  risen 
to  eminence,  though  the  main  achievement  of  his  life 
associates  him  with  1832.  Lord  Grey  was  distinguished 
by  a  stately  and  massive  eloquence  which  exactly  suited 
his  high  purpose  and  earnest  gravity  of  nature,  while  its 
effect  was  enormously  enhanced  by  his  handsome  pres- 
ence and  kingly  bearing.  Though  the  leader  of  the  pop- 
ular cause,  he  was  an  aristocrat  in  nature,  and  pre-emi- 
nently qualified  for  the  great  part  which,  during  twenty 
years,  he  played  in  that  essentially  aristocratic  assembly 
— the  unreformed  House  of  Commons.  In  a  subsequent 
paper  I  hope  to  say  a  little  about  parliamentary  orators 
of  a  rather  more  recent  date ;  and  here  it  may  not  be  un- 
interesting to  compare  the  House  of  Commons  as  we 
have  seen  it  and  known  it,  modified  by  successive  exten- 
sions of  the  suffrage,  with  what  it  was  before  Grey  and 
Kussell  destroyed  forever  its  exclusive  character. 

The  following  description  is  taken  from  Lord  Beacons- 
field,  who  is  drawing  a  character  derived  in  part  from 

114 


PARLIAMENTARY    ORATORY 

Sir  Francis  Burdett  (1770-1840)  and  in  part  from 
George  Byng,  who  was  M.P.  for  Middlesex  for  fifty-six 
years,  and  died  in  1847  :  "  He  was  the  father  of  the 
House,  though  it  was  difficult  to  believe  that  from  his 
appearance.  He  was  tall,  and  had  kept  his  distinguished 
figure ;  a  handsome  man,  with  a  musical  voice,  and  a 
countenance  now  benignant,  though  very  bright,  and 
once  haughty.  He  still  retained  the  same  fashion  of  cos- 
tume in  which  he  had  ridden  up  to  Westminster  more 
than  half  a  century  ago  to  support  his  dear  friend  Charles 
Fox — real  top-boots  and  a  blue  coat  and  buff  waistcoat. 
He  had  a  large  estate,  and  had  refused  an  earldom. 
Knowing  E.,  he  came  and  sate  by  him  one  day  in  the 
House,  and  asked  him,  good-naturedly,  how  he  liked 
his  new  life.  '  It  is  very  different  from  what  it  was  when 
I  was  your  age.  Up  to  Easter  we  rarely  had  a  regular 
debate,  never  a  party  division  ;  very  few  people  came  up 
indeed.  But  there  was  a  good  deal  of  speaking  on  all 
subjects  before  dinner.  We  had  the  privilege  then  of 
speaking  on  the  presentation  of  petitions  at  any  length, 
and  we  seldom  spoke  on  any  other  occasion.  After 
Easter  there  was  always  at  least  one  great  party  fight. 
This  was  a  mighty  affair,  talked  of  for  weeks  before  it 
came  off,  and  then  rarely  an  adjourned  debate.  We  were 
gentlemen,  used  to  sit  up  late,  and  should  have  been 
sitting  up  somewhere  else  had  we  not  been  in  the  House 
of  Commons.  After  this  party  fight  the  House  for  the 
rest  of  the  session  was  a  mere  club.  .  .  .  The  House  of 
Commons  was  very  much  like  what  the  House  of  Lords 
is  now.  You  went  home  to  dine,  and  then  came  back 
for  an  important  division.  .  .  .  Twenty  years  ago  no  man 
would  think  of  coming  down  to  the  House  except  in 
evening  dress.  I  remember,  so  late  as  Mr.  Canning,  the 
Minister  always  came  down  in  silk  stockings  and  panta- 
loons or  knee-breeches.     All  these  things  change,  and 

115 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

quoting  Virgil  will  be  the  next  thing  to  disappear.  In 
the  last  Parliament  we  often  had  Latin  quotations,  but 
never  from  a  member  with  a  new  constituency.  I  have 
heard  Greek  quoted  here,  but  that  was  long  ago,  and  a 
great  mistake.  The  House  was  quite  alarmed.  Charles 
Fox  used  to  say  as  to  quotation :  "  No  Greek  ;  as  much 
Latin  as  you  like  ;  and  never  French  under  any  circum- 
stances. No  English  poet  unless  he  has  completed  his 
century."'  These  were,  like  some  other  good  rules,  the 
unwritten  orders  of  the  House  of  Commons/' 


XII 
PARLIAMENTARY   ORATORY 

I  CONCLUDED  my  last  chapter  with  a  quotation  from 
Lord  Beaconsfield,  describing  parliamentary  speaking  as 
it  was  when  he  entered  the  House  of  Commons  in  1837. 
Of  that  particular  form  of  speaking  perhaps  the  greatest 
master  was  Sir  Robert  Peel.  He  was  deficient  in  those 
gifts  of  imagination  and  romance  which  are  essential  to 
the  highest  oratory.  He  utterly  lacked  —  possibly  he 
would  have  despised  —  that  almost  prophetic  rapture 
which  we  recognize  in  Burke  and  Chatham  and  Erskine. 
His  manner  was  frigid  and  pompous,  and  his  rhetorical 
devices  were  mechanical.  Every  parliamentary  sketch 
of  the  time  satirizes  his  habit  of  turning  round  towards 
his  supporters  at  given  periods  to  ask  for  their  applause ; 
his  trick  of  emphasizing  his  points  by  perpetually  strik- 
ing the  box  before  him  ;  and  his  inveterate  propensity  to 
indulge  in  hackneyed  quotation.  But  when  we  have 
said  this  we  have  said  all  that  can  be  urged  in  his  dis- 
paragement. As  a  parliamentary  speaker  of  the  second, 
and  perhaps  most  useful,  class  he  has  never  been  excelled. 
Firmly,  though  dispassionately,  persuaded  of  certain  po- 
litical and  economic  doctrines,  he  brought  to  the  task  of 
promoting  them  unfailing  tact,  prompt  courage,  inti- 
mate acquaintance  with  the  foibles  of  his  hearers,  un- 
conquerable patience  and  perseverance,  and  an  inexhaust- 
ible supply  of  sonorous  phrases  and  rounded  periods. 
Nor  was  his  success  confined  to  the  House  of  Commons. 

117 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

As  a  speaker  on  pnblic  platforms,  in  the  heyday  of  the 
ten-pound  householder  and  the  middle-class  franchise, 
he  was  peculiarly  in  his  element.  He  had  beyond  most 
men  the  art  of  ''making  a  platitude  endurable  by  mak- 
ing it  pompous."  He  excelled  in  demonstrating  the  ma- 
terial advantages  of  a  moderate  and  cautious  conserva- 
tism, and  he  could  draw  at  will  and  with  effect  upon  a 
prodigious  fund  of  constitutional  commonplaces.  If  we 
measure  the  merit  of  a  parliamentary  speaker  by  his  prac- 
tical influence,  we  must  allow  that  Peel  was  pre-eminently 
great. 

In  the  foremost  rank  of  orators  a  place  must  certainly 
be  assigned  to  O'Connell.  He  was  not  at  his  best  in  the 
House  of  Commons.  His  coarseness,  violence,  and  cun- 
ning were  seen  to  the  Avorst  advantage  in  what  was  still 
an  assemblage  of  gentlemen.  His  powers  of  ridicule, 
sarcasm,  and  invective,  his  dramatic  and  sensational  pre- 
dilections, required  another  scene  for  their  effective  dis- 
play. But  few  men  have  ever  been  so  richly  endowed 
by  nature  with  the  original,  the  incommunicable,  the 
inspired  qualifications  which  go  to  make  an  orator.  He 
was  magnificently  built,  and  blessed  with  a  voice  which, 
by  all  contemporary  testimony,  was  one  of  the  most  thrill- 
ing, flexible,  and  melodious  that  ever  vibrated  through 
a  popular  assembly.  "  From  grave  to  gay,  from  lively  to 
severe,"  he  flew  without  delay  or  difficulty.  The  raciest 
wit  gave  point  to  the  most  irrelevant  personalities,  and 
cogency  to  the  most  illogical  syllogisms ;  the  most  dar- 
ing perversions  of  truth  and  justice  were  driven  home  by 
appeals  to  the  emotions  which  the  coldest  natures  could 
scarcely  withstand.  "The  passions  of  his  audience  were 
playthings  in  his  hand."  Lord  Lytton  thus  describes 
the  effect  of  the  great  oratorical  power  of  the  leader 
of  the  Eepeal  agitation  and  the  champion  of  Catholic 
emancipation  : 

118 


PARLIAMENTARY    ORATORY 

"  Once  to  my  sight  the  giant  thus  was  given  : 
Wall'd  by  wide  air,  and  loof'd  by  boundless  heaven. 
Beneath  his  feet  the  human  ocean  lay, 
And  wave  on  wave  flow'd  into  space  away. 
Methought  no  clarion  could  have  sent  its  sound 
Even  to  the  centre  of  the  hosts  around  ; 
But,  as  I  thought,  rose  the  sonorous  swell, 
As  from  some  church  tower  swings  the  silvery  bell. 
Aloft  and  clear,  from  airy  tide  to  tide 
It  glided,  easy  as  a  bird  may  glide ; 
To  the  last  verge  of  that  vast  audience  sent. 
It  play'd  with  each  wild  passion  as  it  went ; 
Now  stirr'd  the  uproar,  now  the  murmur  still'd. 
And  sobs  or  laughter  answer'd  as  it  will'd. 
Then  did  I  know  what  spells  of  infinite  choice, 
To  rouse  or  lull,  hath  the  sweet  human  voice ; 
Then  did  I  seem  to  seize  the  sudden  clue 
To  that  grand  troublous  Life  Antique — to  view, 
Under  the  rockstand  of  Demosthenes, 
Mutable  Athens  heave  her  noisy  seas." 

A  remarkable  contrast,  as  far  as  outward  characteris- 
tics went,  was  offered  by  the  other  great  orator  of  the 
same  time.  Shell  was  very  small  and  of  mean  presence, 
with  a  singularly  fidgety  manner,  a  shrill  voice,  and  a 
delivery  unintelligibly  rapid.  But  in  sheer  beauty  of 
elaborated  diction  not  O'Connell  nor  any  one  else  could 
surpass  him.  There  are  few  finer  speeches  in  the  lan- 
guage than  that  in  Avhich  he  took  Lord  Lyndhurst  to 
task  for  applying  the  word  "alien"  to  the  Irish  in  a 
speech  on  municipal  reform  : 

**  Aliens  !  Good  God  !  was  Arthur  Duke  of  "Welling- 
ton in  the  House  of  Lords,  and  did  he  not  start  up  and 
exclaim  :  'Hold  !  I  have  seen  the  aliens  do  their  duty'? 
...  I  appeal  to  the  gallant  soldier  before  me,  from 
whose  opinions  I  differ,  but  who  bears,  I  know,  a  gener- 
ous heart  in  an  intrepid  bosom,  tell  me,  for  you  needs 
must  remember — on  that  day  when  the  destinies  of  man- 

119 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

kind  were  trembling  in  the  balance — while  death  fell  in 
showers — tell  me  if  for  an  instant,  when  to  hesitate  for 
an  instant  was  to  be  lost,  the  ^aliens'  blenched.  .  .  , 
On  the  field  of  AVaterloo  the  blood  of  England,  of  Scot- 
land, and  of  Ireland  flowed  in  the  same  stream  and 
drenched  the  same  field.  When  the  chill  morning  dawn- 
ed their  dead  lay  cold  and  stark  together ;  in  the  same 
deep  pit  their  bodies  were  deposited ;  the  green  corn 
of  spring  is  now  breaking  from  their  commingled  dust ; 
the  dew  falls  from  heaven  upon  this  union  in  the  grave. 
Partakers  in  every  peril,  in  the  glory  shall  we  not  be  per- 
mitted to  participate  ?  And  shall  we  be  told  as  a  re- 
quital that  we  are  'aliens'  from  the  noble  country  for 
whose  salvation  our  life-blood  was  poured  out  ?" 

By  the  time  which  we  are  now  considering  there  had 
risen  to  eminence  a  man  who,  if  he  could  not  be  ranked 
with  the  great  orators  of  the  beginning  of  the  century, 
yet  inherited  their  best  traditions  and  came  very  near 
to  rivalling  their  fame.  I  refer  to  the  great  Lord  Derby. 
His  eloquence  was  of  the  most  impetuous  kind,  corre- 
sponding to  the  sensitive  fierceness  of  the  man,  and  had 
gained  for  him  the  nickname  of  "  The  Eupert  of  De- 
bate." Lord  Beaconsfield,  speaking  in  the  last  year  of 
his  life  to  Mr.  Matthew  Arnold,  said  that  the  task  of 
carrying  Mr.  Forster's  Coercion  Bill  of  1881  through  the 
House  of  Commons  "  needed  such  a  man  as  Lord  Derby 
was  in  his  youth  —  a  man  full  of  nerve,  dash,  fire,  and 
resource,  who  carried  the  House  irresistibly  along  with 
him"  —  no  mean  tribute  from  a  consummate  judge. 
Among  Lord  Derby's  ancillary  qualifications  were  his 
musical  voice,  his  fine  English  style,  and  his  facility  in 
apt  and  novel  quotation,  as  when  he  applied  Meg  Mer- 
rilies's  threnody  over  the  ruins  of  Derncleugh  to  the 
destruction  of  the  Irish  Church  Establishment.  I  turn 
to  Lord  Lytton  again  for  a  description  : 

130 


PARLIAMENTARY    ORATORY 

"One  after  one,  the  Lords  of  Time  advauce ; 
Here  Stanley  meets — how  Stanley  scorns  ! — the  glance. 
The  brilliant  chief,  irregularly  great, 
Frank,  haughty,  rash,  the  Rupert  of  Debate  ; 
Nor  gout  nor  toil  his  freshness  can  destroy, 
And  time  still  leaves  all  Eton  in  the  boy. 
First  in  the  class,  and  keenest  in  the  ring, 
He  saps  like  Gladstone,  and  he  fights  like  Spring ! 
Yet  who  not  listens,  with  delighted  smile, 
To  the  pure  Saxon  of  that  silver  style ; 
In  the  clear  style  a  heart  as  clear  is  seen, 
Prompt  to  the  rash,  revolving  from  the  mean." 

I  turn  now  to  Lord  Derby's  most  eminent  rival — 
Lord  Eussell,  Writing  in  1844,  Lord  Beaconsfield  thus 
describes  him :  "  He  is  not  a  natural  orator,  and  labors 
under  physical  deficiencies  which  even  a  Demosthenic 
impulse  could  scarcely  overcome.  But  he  is  experienced 
in  debate,  quick  in  reply,  fertile  in  resource,  takes  large 
views,  and  frequently  compensates  for  a  dry  and  hesitat- 
ing manner  by  the  expression  of  those  noble  truths  that 
flash  across  the  fancy  and  rise  spontaneously  to  the  lip 
of  men  of  poetic  temperament  when  addressing  popular 
assemblies."  Twenty  years  earlier  Moore  had  described 
Lord  John  Kussell's  public  speaking  in  a  peculiarly 
happy  image  : 

"An  eloquence,  not  like  those  rills  from  a  height 
Which  sparkle  and  foam  and  in  vapor  are  o'er ; 
But  a  current  that  works  out  its  way  into  light 
Through  the  filtering  recesses  of  thought  and  of  lore." 

Cobden,  when  they  were  opposed  to  one  another  in  the 
earlier  days  of  the  struggle  for  Free  Trade,  described 
him  as  "a  cunning  little  fox,"  and  avowed  that  he 
dreaded  his  dexterity  in  parliamentary  debate  more  than 
that  of  any  other  opponent. 
In  1834  Lord  John  made  his  memorable  declaration 
121 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

in  favor  of  a  liberal  policy  with  reference  to  the  Irish 
Church  Establishment,  and,  in  his  own  words,  "The 
speech  made  a  great  impression  ;  the  cheering  was  loud 
and  general ;  and  Stanley  expressed  his  sense  of  it  in  a 
well-known  note  to  Sir  James  Graham:  'Johnny  has 
upset  the  coach.'"  The  phrase  was  perpetuated  by 
Lord  Lytton,  to  whom  I  must  go  once  again  for  a  per- 
fectly apt  description  of  the  Whig  leader,  both  in  his 
defects  of  manner  and  in  his  essential  greatness  : 

"Next  cool,  and  all  unconscious  of  reproach, 
Comes  the  calm  Johnny  who  'upset  the  coach,' 
How  formed  to  lead,  if  not  too  proud  to  please  ! 
His  fame  would  fire  you,  but  his  manners  freeze, 
Like  or  dislike,  he  does  not  care  a  jot ; 
He  wants  your  vote,  but  your  affections  not. 
Yet  human  hearts  need  sun  as  well  as  oats ; 
So  cold  a  climate  plays  the  deuce  with  votes. 
But  see  our  hero  when  the  steam  is  on. 
And  languid  Johnny  glows  to  Glorious  John  ! 
When  Hampden's  thought,  by  Falkland's  muses  drest, 
Lights  the  pale  cheek  and  swells  the  generous  breast ; 
When  the  pent  heat  expands  the  quickening  soul. 
And  foremost  in  the  race  the  wheels  of  genius  roll." 

As  the  general  idea  of  these  papers  has  been  a  con- 
catenation of  Links  with  the  Past,  I  must  say  a  word 
about  Lord  Palmerston,  who  was  born  in  1784,  entered 
Parliament  in  1807,  and  was  still  leading  the  House  of 
Commons  when  I  first  attended  its  debates.  A  man  who, 
when  turned  seventy,  could  speak  from  the  "  dusk  of  a 
summer  evening  to  the  dawn  of  a  summer  morning"  in 
defence  of  his  foreign  policy,  and  carry  the  vindication 
of  it  by  a  majority  of  forty-six,  was  certainly  no  com- 
mon performer  on  the  parliamentary  stage;  and  yet 
Lord  Palmerston  had  very  slender  claims  to  the  title 
of  an  orator.    His  style  was  not  only  devoid  of  ornament 

132 


PARLIAMENTARY    ORATORY 

and  rhetorical  device,  but  it  was  slipshod  and  untidy  in 
the  last  degree,  lie  eked  ont  his  sentences  with  ''hum" 
and  "hah";  he  cleared  his  throat,  and  flourished  his 
pocket-handkerchief,  and  sucked  his  orange ;  he  rounded 
his  periods  with  ''You  know  what  I  mean"  and  "All 
that  kind  of  thing,"  and  seemed  actually  to  revel  in  an 
anticlimax — "I  think  the  hon.  member's  proposal  an 
outrageous  violation  of  constitutional  propriety,  a  daring 
departure  from  traditional  policy,  and,  in  short,  a  great 
mistake." 

It  taxed  all  the  skill  of  the  reporters'  gallery  to  trim 
his  speeches  into  decent  form  ;  and  yet  no  one  was  lis- 
tened to  with  keener  interest,  no  one  was  so  much 
dreaded  as  an  opponent,  and  no  one  ever  approached 
him  in  the  art  of  putting  a  plausible  face  upon  a  doubt- 
ful policy  and  making  the  worse  appear  the  better  cause. 
Palmerston's  parliamentary  success  perfectly  illustrates 
the  Judgment  of  Demosthenes,  that  "  it  is  not  the 
orator's  language  that  matters,  nor  the  tone  of  his  voice; 
but  what  matters  is  that  he  should  have  the  same  predi- 
lections as  the  majority,  and  should  entertain  the  same 
likes  and  dislikes  as  his  country."  If  those  are  the  re- 
quisites of  public  speaking,  Palmerston  was  supreme. 

The  most  conspicuous  of  all  Links  with  the  Past  in 
the  matter  of  Parliamentary  Oratory  is  obviously  Mr. 
Gladstone.  Like  the  younger  Pitt,  he  had  a  "prema- 
ture and  unnatural  dexterity  in  the  combination  of 
words."  He  was  trained  under  the  immediate  influence 
of  Canning,  who  was  his  father's  friend.  When  he  was 
sixteen  his  style  was  already  formed.  I  quote  from  the 
records  of  the  Eton  Debating  Society  for  1826  : 

"Thus  much,  sir,  I  have  said,  as  conceiving  myself 
bound  in  fairness  not  to  regard  the  names  under  which 
men  have  hidden  their  designs  so  much  as  the  designs 
themselves.     I  am  well  aware  that  my  prejudices  and 

123 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

my  predilections  have  long  been  enlisted  on  the  side  of 
Toryism — (cheers) — and  that  in  a  cause  like  this  I  am 
not  likely  to  be  influenced  unfairly  against  men  bearing 
that  name  and  professing  to  act  on  the  principles  which 
I  have  always  been  accustomed  to  revere.  But  the  good 
of  my  country  must  stand  on  a  higher  ground  than  dis- 
tinctions like  these.  In  common  fairness  and  in  com- 
mon candor,  I  feel  myself  compelled  to  give  my  decisive 
verdict  against  the  conduct  of  men  whose  measures  I 
firmly  believe  to  have  been  hostile  to  British  interests, 
destructive  of  British  glory,  and  subversive  of  the 
splendid  and  I  trust  lasting,  fabric  of  the  British  Con- 
stitution." 

Mr.  Gladstone  entered  Parliament  when  he  was  not 
quite  twenty-three,  at  the  General  Election  of  1832,  and 
it  is  evident  from  a  perusal  of  his  early  speeches  in  the 
House  of  Commons,  imperfectly  reported  in  the  third 
person,  and  from  contemporary  evidence,  that,  when 
due  allowance  is  made  for  growth  and  development,  his 
manner  of  oratory  was  then  the  same  as  it  is  to-day. 
Then,  as  afterwards,  he  was  only  too  fluent.  His  style 
was  copious,  redundant,  and  involved,  and  his  speeches 
were  garnished,  after  the  manner  of  his  time,  with  Ho- 
ratian  and  Virgilian  tags.  His  voice  was  always  clear, 
flexible,  and  musical,  though  his  utterance  was  marked, 
even  more  strongly  than  now,  by  a  Lancastrian  "burr." 
His  gesture  was  varied  and  animated,  though  not  vio- 
lent. He  turned  his  face  and  body  from  side  to  side, 
and  often  wheeled  right  round  to  face  his  own  party  as 
he  appealed  for  their  cheers. 

"  Did  you  ever  feel  nervous  in  public  speaking  ?" 
asked  the  late  Lord  Coleridge. 

"  In  opening  a  subject,  often,"  answered  Mr.  Glad- 
stone ;  "in  reply,  never." 

It  was  a  characteristic  saying,  for,  in  truth,  he  was  a 
124 


PARLIAMENTARY    ORATORY 

born  debater,  never  so  happy  as  when  coping  on  the  spur 
of  the  moment  with  the  arguments  and  appeals  which 
an  opponent  had  spent  perhaps  days  in  elaborating  be- 
forehand. Again,  in  the  art  of  elucidating  figures  he 
was  unequalled.  He  was  the  first  Chancellor  of  the 
Exchequer  who  ever  made  the  Budget  interesting.  "  He 
talked  shop,"  it  was  said,  ''like  a  tenth  muse."  He 
could  apply  all  the  resources  of  a  glowing  rhetoric  to 
the  most  prosaic  questions  of  cost  and  profit ;  could 
make  beer  romantic  and  sugar  serious.  He  could  sweep 
the  widest  horizon  of  the  financial  future,  and  yet  stoop 
to  bestow  the  minutest  attention  on  the  microcosm  of 
penny  stamps  and  the  monetary  merits  of  half -farthings. 
And  yet,  extraordinary  as  were  these  feats  of  intellec- 
tual athletics,  Mr.  Gladstone's  unapproached  supremacy 
as  an  orator  was  not  really  seen  until  he  touched  the 
moral  elements  involved  in  some  great  political  issue. 
Then,  indeed,  he  spoke  like  a  prophet  and  a  man  in- 
spired. His  whole  physical  formation  seemed  to  become 
"fusile"  with  the  fire  of  his  ethical  passion,  and  his 
eloquence  flowed  like  a  stream  of  molten  lava,  carrying 
all  before  it  in  its  irresistible  rush,  glorious  as  well  as 
terrible,  and  fertilizing  while  it  subdued.  Mr.  Glad- 
stone's departure  from  the  House  of  Commons  closed  a 
splendid  tradition,  and  Parliamentary  Oratory  as  our 
fathers  understood  it  may  now  be  reckoned  among  the 
lost  arts. 


XIII 

COiq"VERSATION 

We  have  agreed  that  Parliamentary  Oratory,  as  onr 
fathers  understood  that  phrase,  is  a  lost  art.  Must  Con- 
versation be  included  in  the  same  category  ?  To  answer 
with  positiveness  is  difficult;  but  this  much  may  be 
readily  conceded — that  a  belief  in  the  decadence  of  con- 
versation is  natural  to  those  who  have  specially  culti- 
vated Links  with  the  Past ;  who  grew  up  in  the  tradi- 
tions of  Luttrell  and  Mackintosh,  and  Lord  Alvanley  and 
Samuel  Rogers ;  who  have  felt  Sydney  Smith's  irresisti- 
ble fun,  and  known  the  overwhelming  fulness  of  Lord 
Macaulay.  It  is  not  unreasonable  even  in  that  later  gen- 
eration which  can  still  recall  the  frank  but  high-bred  gay- 
ety  of  the  great  Lord  Derby,  the  rollicking  good-humor 
and  animal  spirits  of  Bishop  Wilberforce,  the  saturnine 
epigrams  of  Lord  Beaconsfield,  the  versatility  and  choice 
diction  of  Lord  Houghton,  the  many-sided  yet  concen- 
trated malice  which  supplied  the  stock-in-trade  of  Abra- 
ham Hayward.  More  recent  losses  have  been  heavier 
still.  Nine  years  ago  died  Mr.  Matthew  Arnold,  who 
possessed  the  various  elements  which  make  good  conver- 
sation—  urbanity,  liveliness,  quick  sympathy,  keen  in- 
terest in  the  world's  works  and  ways,  the  happiest  choice 
of  words,  and  a  natural  and  never  -  failing  humor,  as 
genial  as  it  was  pungent.  It  was  his  good  fortune  that 
he  knew  how  to  be  a  man  of  the  world  without  being 
frivolous,  and  a  man  of  letters  without  being  pedantic. 

126 


CONVERSATION 

Eight  years  ago  I  was  asked  to  discnss  the  Art  of  Con- 
versation in  one  of  tlie  monthly  reviews,  and  I  conkl 
then  illustrate  it  by  such  living  instances  as  Lord  Gran- 
ville, Sir  Robert  Peel,  Lord  Coleridge,  Lord  Bowen,  Mr. 
Browning,  and  Mr.  Lowell.  Each  of  those  distinguished 
men  had  a  conversational  gift  which  was  peculiarly  his 
own.  Each  talked  like  himself,  and  like  no  one  else ; 
each  made  his  distinct  and  individual  contribution  to  the 
social  agreeableness  of  London.  If  in  now  endeavoring 
to  recall  their  characteristic  gifts  I  use  words  which  I 
have  used  before,  my  excuse  must  be  that  the  contem- 
porary record  of  a  personal  impression  cannot  with  ad- 
vantage be  retouched  after  the  lapse  of  years. 

Lord  Granville's  most  notable  quality  was  a  humor- 
ous urbanity.  As  a  story-teller  he  was  unsurpassed. 
He  had  been  everywhere  and  had  known  every  one.  He 
was  quick  to  seize  a  point,  and  extraordinarily  apt  in 
anecdote  and  illustration.  His  fine  taste  appreciated 
whatever  was  best  in  life,  in  conversation,  in  literature, 
even  when  (as  in  his  selection  of  the  preface  to  the  Sandus 
as  his  favorite  piece  of  English  prose)  it  was  gathered 
from  fields  in  which  he  had  not  habitually  roamed.  A 
man  whose  career  had  been  so  full  of  vivid  and  varied 
interests  must  often  have  felt  acutely  bored  by  the  trivial 
round  of  social  conversation.  But  if  he  could  not  rise — 
who  can?  —  to  the  apostolic  virtue  of  suffering  bores 
gladly,  at  any  rate  he  endured  their  onslaughts  as  un- 
flinchingly as  he  bore  the  gout.  A  smiling  countenance 
and  an  unfailing  courtesy  concealed  the  torment  which 
was  none  the  less  keen  because  it  was  unexpressed.  He 
could  always  feel,  or  at  least  could  show,  a  gracious  in- 
terest in  what  interested  his  company,  and  he  possessed 
in  supreme  perfection  the  happy  knack  of  putting  those 
to  whom  he  spoke  in  good  conceit  with  themselves. 

The  late  Sir  Robert  Peel  was,  both  mentally  and  physi- 
127 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

cally,  one  of  the  most  picturesque  figures  in  society. 
Alike  in  his  character  and  in  his  aspect,  the  Creole  blood 
which  he  had  inherited  from  his  maternal  descent  tri- 
umphed over  the  robust  and  serviceable  commonplace 
which  was  the  characteristic  quality  of  the  Peels.  Lord 
Beaconsfield  described  "a  still  gallant  figure,  scrupu- 
lously attired  ;  a  blue  frock-coat,  with  a  ribboned  button- 
hole ;  a  well  -  turned  boot ;  hat  a  little  too  hidalgoish, 
but  quite  new.  There  was  something  respectable  and 
substantial  about  him,  notwithstanding  his  mustaches 
and  a  carriage  too  debonair  for  his  years. ^'  The  descrip- 
tion, for  whomsover  intended,  is  a  lifelike  portrait  of 
Sir  Robert  Peel.  His  most  salient  feature  as  a  talker 
was  his  lovely  voice  —  deep,  flexible,  melodious.  Mr. 
Gladstone — no  mean  judge  of  such  matters — pronounced 
it  the  finest  organ  he  ever  heard  in  Parliament ;  but, 
with  all  due  submission  to  so  high  an  authority,  I  should 
have  said  that  it  was  a  voice  better  adapted  to  the  draw- 
ing-room than  to  the  House  of  Commons.  In  a  large 
space  a  higher  note  and  a  clearer  tone  tell  better,  but 
in  the  close  quarters  of  social  intercourse  one  appreciates 
the  sympathetic  qualities  of  a  rich  barytone.  And  Sir 
Robert's  voice,  admirable  in  itself,  was  the  vehicle  of 
conversation  quite  worthy  of  it.  He  could  talk  of  art 
and  sport,  and  politics  and  books  ;  he  had  a  great  mem- 
ory, varied  information,  lively  interest  in  the  world  and 
its  doings,  and  a  full-bodied  humor  which  recalled  the 
social  tone  of  the  last  century. 

His  vein  of  personal  raillery  was  rather  robust  than  re- 
fined. Nothing  has  been  heard  in  our  time  quite  like 
his  criticism  of  Sir  Edgar  Boehm  in  the  House  of  Com- 
mons, or  his  joke  about  Mr.  Justice  Chitty  at  the  elec- 
tion for  Oxford  in  1880.  But  his  humor  (to  quote  his 
own  words)  "had  an  English  ring,"  and  much  must  be 
pardoned  to  a  man  who,  in  this  portentous  age  of  reti- 

128 


CONVERSATION 

cence  and  pose,  was  wholly  free  from  solemnity,  and 
when  he  heard  or  saw  what  was  ludicrous  was  not  afraid 
to  laugh  at  it.  Sir  Robert  Peel  was  an  excellent  hand  at 
what  our  fathers  called  banter  and  we  call  chaff.  A  prig 
or  a  pedant  was  his  favorite  butt,  and  the  performance 
was  rendered  all  the  more  effective  by  his  elaborate  as- 
sumption of  the  grand  seigneur's  manner.  The  victim 
was  dimly  conscious  that  he  was  being  laughed  at,  but 
comically  uncertain  about  the  best  means  of  reprisal. 
Sydney  Smith  described  Sir  James  Mackintosh  as  "abat- 
ing and  dissolving  pompous  gentlemen  with  the  most 
successful  ridicule."  Whoever  performs  that  process  is 
a  social  benefactor,  and  the  greatest  master  of  it  whom  I 
have  ever  known  was  Sir  Robert  Peel. 

The  Judges  live  so  entirely  in  their  own  narrow  and 
rather  technical  circle  that  their  social  abilities  are  lost 
to  the  world.  It  is  a  pity,  for  several  of  them  are  men 
well  fitted  by  their  talents  and  accomplishments  to  take 
a  leading  part  in  society.  The  late  Lord  Coleridge  was 
pre-eminently  a  case  in  point.  Personally,  I  had  an  al- 
most fanatical  admiration  for  his  genius,  and  in  many  of 
the  qualities  which  make  an  agreeable  talker  he  was  un- 
surpassed. Every  one  who  ever  heard  him  at  the  Bar  or 
on  the  Bench  must  recall  that  silvery  voice  and  that  per- 
fect elocution  which  prompted  a  competent  judge  of  such 
matters  to  say:  "I  should  enjoy  listening  to  Coleridge 
even  if  he  only  read  out  a  page  of  BradsTiaw."  To  these 
gifts  were  added  an  immense  store  of  varied  knowledge, 
a  genuine  enthusiasm  for  whatever  is  beautiful  in  litera- 
ture or  art,  an  inexhaustible  copiousness  of  anecdote,  and 
a  happy  knack  of  exact  yet  not  offensive  mimicry.  It  is 
always  pleasant  to  see  a  man  in  great  station  who,  in  the 
intercourse  of  society,  is  perfectly  untrammelled  by  pomp 
and  form,  can  make  a  joke  and  enjoy  it,  and  is  not  too 
cautious  to  garnish  his  conversation  with  personalities 
I  129 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

or  to  season  it  with  sarcasm.  Perhaps  Lord  Coleridge's 
gibes  were  a  little  out  of  place  on  "the  Royal  Bench  of 
British  Themis/'  but  at  a  dinner -table  they  were  de- 
lightful, and  they  derived  a  double  zest  from  the  exqui- 
site precision  and  finish  of  the  English  in  which  they 
were  conveyed. 

Another  judge  who  excelled  in  conversation  was  the 
late  Lord  Bowen.  Those  who  knew  him  intimately 
would  say  that  he  was  the  best  talker  in  London.  In 
spite  of  the  burden  of  learning  which  he  carried  and 
his  marvellous  rapidity  and  grasp  of  mind,  his  social  de- 
meanor was  quiet  and  unobtrusive  almost  to  the  point  of 
affectation.  His  manner  was  singularly  suave  and  win- 
ning, and  his  smile  resembled  that  of  the  much-quoted 
Chinaman  who  played  but  did  not  understand  the  game 
of  euchre.  This  singular  gentleness  of  speech  gave  a 
special  piquancy  to  his  keen  and  delicate  satire,  his  readi- 
ness in  repartee,  and  his  subtle  irony.  No  one  ever  met 
Lord  Bowen  without  wishing  to  meet  him  again  ;  no  one 
ever  made  his  acquaintance  without  desiring  his  friend- 
ship. The  meritorious  but  disappointing  memoir  of  him 
just  published  only  illustrates  afresh  the  impossibility  of 
transplanting  to  the  printed  page  the  rarefied  humor  of 
so  delicate  a  spirit.  Had  he  been  more  widely  known, 
the  traditions  of  his  table-talk  would  probably  have  taken 
their  place  with  the  best  recollections  of  English  conver- 
sation. His  admirers  can  only  regret  that  gifts  so  rich 
and  so  rare  should  have  been  buried  in  judicial  dining- 
rooms  or  squandered  on  the  dismal  orgies  of  the  Cosmo- 
politan Club,  where  dull  men  sit  round  a  meagre  fire,  in 
a  large,  draughty,  and  half -lit  room,  drinking  lemon- 
squash  and  talking  for  talking's  sake — the  most  melan- 
choly of  occupations. 

The  society  of  London  between  1870  and  1890  con- 
tained no  more  striking  or  interesting  figure  than  that  of 

130 


COJS  VEKSATION 

Robert  Browning.  No  one  meeting  him  for  the  first  time 
and  unfurnished  with  a  clew  would  have  guessed  his  voca- 
tion. He  might  have  been  a  diplomatist,  a  statesman, 
a  discoverer,  or  a  man  of  science.  But  whatever  was  his 
calling,  one  felt  sure  that  it  must  be  something  essentially 
practical.  Of  the  disordered  appearance,  the  unconven- 
tional demeanor,  the  rapt  and  mystic  air  which  we  assume 
to  be  characteristic  of  the  poet  he  had  absolutely  none. 
And  his  conversation  corresponded  to  his  appearance.  It 
abounded  in  vigor,  in  fire,  in  vivacity.  It  was  genuine- 
ly interesting,  and  often  strikingly  eloquent,  yet  all  the 
time  it  was  entirely  free  from  mystery,  vagueness,  and 
jargon.  It  was  the  crisp,  emphatic,  and  powerful  dis- 
course of  a  man  of  the  world  who  was  incomparably 
better  informed  than  the  mass  of  hjs  congeners.  Mr. 
Browning  was  the  readiest,  the  blithest,  and  the  most 
forcible  of  talkers,  and  when  he  dealt  in  criticism  the 
edge  of  his  sword  was  mercilessly  whetted  against  preten- 
sion and  vanity.  The  inflection  of  his  voice,  the  flash  of 
his  eye,  the  pose  of  his  head,  the  action  of  his  hand,  all 
lent  their  special  emphasis  to  the  condemnation.  '^  I  like 
religion  to  be  treated  seriously,"  he  exclaimed  with  refer- 
ence to  a  theological  novel  of  great  renown,  *'and  I  don't 
want  to  know  what  this  curate  or  that  curate  thought 
about  it.  No,  I  don't."  Surely  the  secret  thoughts  of 
many  hearts  found  utterance  in  that  emphatic  cry. 

Here  I  must  venture  to  insert  a  personal  reminiscence. 
Mr.  Browning  had  honored  me  with  his  company  at  din- 
ner, and  an  unduly  fervent  admirer  had  button -holed 
him  throughout  a  long  evening,  plying  him  with  ques- 
tions about  what  he  meant  by  this  line,  and  whom  he  in- 
tended by  that  character.  It  was  more  than  flesh  and 
blood  could  stand,  and  at  last  the  master  extricated  him- 
self from  the  grasp  of  the  disciple,  exclaiming  with  the 
most  airy  grace,  *'But,  my  dear  fellow,  this  is  too  bad.    / 

131 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

am  monopolizing  you."  Now  and  then,  at  rather  rare 
intervals,  when  time  and  place,  and  company  and  sur- 
roundings, were  altogether  suitable,  Mr.  Browning  would 
consent  to  appear  in  his  true  character  and  to  delight  his 
hearers  by  speaking  of  his  art.  Then  the  higher  and  rarer 
qualities  of  his  genius  came  into  play.  He  kindled  with 
responsive  fire  at  a  beautiful  thought,  and  burned  with 
contagious  enthusiasm  over  a  phrase  which  struck  his 
fancy.  Yet  all  the  while  the  poetic  rapture  was  under- 
lain by  a  groundwork  of  robust  sense.  Eant,  and  gush, 
and  affectation  were  abhorrent  to  his  nature,  and  even  in 
his  grandest  flights  of  fancy  he  was  always  intelligible. 

The  late  Mr.  Lowell  must  certainly  be  reckoned  among 
the  famous  talkers  of  his  time.  During  the  years  that 
he  represented  the  United  States  in  London  his  trim 
sentences,  his  airy  omniscience,  his  minute  and  circum- 
stantial way  of  laying  down  literary  law,  were  the  inevita- 
ble ornaments  of  serious  dinners  and  cultured  tea-tables. 
My  first  encounter  with  Mr.  Lowell  took  place  many  years 
before  he  entered  on  his  diplomatic  career.  It  was  in 
1872,  when  I  chanced  to  meet  him  in  a  company  of  tour- 
ists at  Durham  Castle.  Though  I  was  a  devotee  of  the 
Bigloiu  Papers,  I  did  not  know  their  distinguished  author 
even  by  sight ;  and  I  was  intensely  amused  by  the  air  of 
easy  mastery,  the  calm  and  almost  fatherly  patronage, 
with  which  this  cultivated  American  overrode  the  indig- 
nant showwoman ;  pointed  out,  for  the  general  benefit 
of  the  admiring  tourists,  the  gaps  and  lapses  in  her  ar- 
tistic, architectural,  and  archaeological  knowledge ;  and 
made  mullion  and  portcullis,  and  armor  and  tapestry  the 
pegs  for  a  series  of  neat  discourses  on  mediaBval  history, 
domestic  decoration,  and  the  science  of  fortification. 

Which  things  are  an  allegory.  We,  as  a  nation,  take 
this  calm  assurance  of  foreigners  at  its  own  valuation. 
We  consent  to  be  told  that  we  do  not  know  our  own  poets, 

132 


CONVERSATION 

cannot  pronounce  our  own  language,  and  have  no  well- 
educated  women.  But  after  a  time  this  process  palls.  We 
question  the  divine  right  of  the  superiority  thus  imposed 
on  us.  We  ask  on  what  foundation  these  high  claims 
rest,  and  we  discover  all  at  once  that  we  have  paid  a  great 
deal  of  deference  where  very  little  was  deserved.  By 
processes  such  as  these  I  came  to  find,  in  years  long  sub- 
sequent to  the  encounter  at  Durham,  that  Mr.  Lowell, 
though  an  accomplished  politician,  a  brilliant  writer,  and 
an  admirable  after-dinner  speaker,  was,  conversationally 
considered,  an  inaccurate  man  with  an  accurate  manner. 
But,  after  all,  inaccuracy  is  by  no  means  the  worst  of 
conversational  faults,  and  when  he  was  in  the  vein  Mr. 
Lowell  could  be  exceedingly  good  company.  He  liked 
talking,  and  talked  not  only  much  but  very  well.  He 
had  a  genuine  vein  of  wit  and  great  dexterity  in  phrase- 
making  ;  and  on  due  occasion  would  produce  from  the 
rich  stores  of  his  own  experience  some  of  the  most  vivid 
and  striking  incidents,  both  civil  and  military,  of  that 
tremendous  struggle  for  human  freedom  with  which  his 
name  and  fame  must  be  always  and  most  honorably  asso- 
ciated. 


XIV 

CONVERSATION 

Brave  men  have  lived  since  as  well  as  before  Agamem- 
non, and  those  who  know  the  present  society  of  London 
may  not  unreasonably  ask  whether,  even  granting  the 
heavy  losses  which  I  enumerated  in  my  last  paper,  the 
Art  of  Conversation  is  really  extinct.  Are  the  talkers  of 
to-day  in  truth  so  immeasurably  inferior  to  the  great  men 
who  preceded  them  ?  Before  we  can  answer  these  ques- 
tions, even  tentatively,  we  must  try  to  define  our  idea  of 
good  conversation,  and  this  can  best  be  done  by  rigid- 
ly ruling  out  what  is  bad.  To  begin  with,  all  affecta- 
tion, unreality,  and  straining  after  effect  are  intolerable  ; 
scarcely  less  so  are  rhetoric,  declamation,  and  whatever 
tends  towards  speech-making.  Mimicry  is  a  very  dan- 
gerous trick,  rare  in  perfection,  and  contemptible  when 
imperfect.  An  apt  story  well  told  is  delicious,  but  there 
was  sound  philosophy  in  Mr.  Pinto's  view  that  "when  a 
man  fell  into  his  anecdotage  it  was  a  sign  for  him  to  re- 
tire from  the  world."  One  touch  of  ill-nature  makes  the 
whole  world  kin,  and  a  spice  of  malice  tickles  the  intel- 
lectual palate  ;  but  a  conversation  which  is  mainly  mali- 
cious is  entirely  dull.  Constant  joking  is  a  weariness  to 
the  flesh  ;  but,  on  the  other  hand,  a  sustained  serious- 
ness of  discourse  is  fatally  apt  to  recall  the  conversation 
between  the  Hon.  Elijah  Pogram  and  the  Three  Literary 
Ladies — ''How  Pogram  got  out  of  his  depth  instantly, 
and  how  the  Three  L.L.'s  were  never  in  theirs,  is  a  piece 

134 


CONVERSATION 

of  history  not  worth  recording.  Suffice  it  that,  being 
all  four  out  of  their  depths  and  all  unable  to  swim, 
they  splashed  up  words  in  all  directions,  and  floundered 
about  famously.  On  the  whole,  it  was  considered  to 
have  been  the  severest  mental  exercise  ever  heard  in 
the  National  Hotel,  and  the  whole  company  observed 
that  their  heads  ached  with  the  effort — as  well  they 
might." 

A  talker  who  monopolizes  the  conversation  is  by  com- 
mon consent  insufferable,  and  a  man  who  regulates  his 
choice  of  topics  by  reference  to  what  interests  not  his 
hearers  but  himself  has  yet  to  learn  the  alphabet  of  the 
art.  Conversation  is  like  lawn  -  tennis,  and  requires 
alacrity  in  return  at  least  as  much  as  vigor  in  service. 
A  happy  phrase,  an  nnexpected  collocation  of  words,  a 
habitual  precision  in  the  choice  of  terms,  are  rare  and 
shining  ornaments  of  conversation,  but  they  do  not  for 
an  instant  supply  the  place  of  lively  and  interesting  mat- 
ter, and  an  excessive  care  for  them  is  apt  to  tell  unfavor- 
ably on  the  substance  of  discourse. 

"  I  might  as  well  attempt  to  gather  up  the  foam  of  the 
sea  as  to  convey  an  idea  of  the  extraordinary  language  in 
which  he  clothed  his  description.  There  were  at  least 
five  words  in  every  sentence  that  must  have  been  very 
much  astonished  at  the  use  they  were  put  to,  and  yet  no 
others  apparently  could  so  well  have  expressed  his  idea. 
He  talked  like  a  racehorse  approaching  the  winning-post 
— every  muscle  in  action,  and  the  utmost  energy  of  ex- 
pression flung  out  into  every  burst."  This  is  a  con- 
temporary description  of  Lord  Beaconsfield's  conversa- 
tion in  those  distant  days  when,  as  a  young  man  about 
town,  he  was  talking  and  dressing  his  way  into  social 
fame.  Though  written  in  admiration,  it  seems  to  me  to 
describe  the  most  intolerable  performance  that  could 
ever  have  afflicted  society.     He  talked  like  a  raceliorse 

135 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

approaching  the  2oinning  -  post.  Could  the  wit  of  man 
devise  a  more  appalling  image  ? 

Mr.  Matthew  Arnold  once  said  to  me  :  "People  think 
that  I  can  teach  them  style.  AVhat  stuff  it  all  is  !  Have 
something  to  say,  and  say  it  as  clearly  as  you  can.  That 
is  the  only  secret  of  style."  This  dictum  applies,  I 
think,  at  least  as  well  to  conversation  as  to  literature. 
The  one  thing  needful  is  to  have  something  to  say.  The 
way  of  saying  it  may  best  be  left  to  take  care  of  itself. 
A  young  man  about  town  once  remarked  to  me,  in  the 
tone  of  one  who  utters  an  accepted  truism  :  "  It  is  so 
much  more  interesting  to  talk  about  people  than  things." 
The  sentiment  was  highly  characteristic  of  the  mental 
calibre  and  associations  of  the  speaker ;  and  certainly 
the  habitual  talk  —  for  it  is  not  conversation  —  of  that 
section  of  society  which  calls  itself  "  smart "  seems  to 
touch  the  lowest  depth  of  spiteful  and  sordid  dulness. 
But  still,  when  the  mischiefs  of  habitual  personality  have 
been  admitted  to  the  uttermost,  there  remains  something 
to  be  said  on  the  other  side.  We  are  not  inhabitants  of 
Jupiter  or  Saturn,  but  human  beings  to  whom  nothing 
that  is  human  is  wholly  alien.  And  if  in  the  pursuit  of 
high  abstractions  and  improving  themes  we  imitate  too 
closely  Wordsworth's  avoidance  of  Personal  Talk,  our 
dinner-table  will  run  much  risk  of  becoming  as  dull  as 
the  poet's  own  fireside. 

Granting,  then,  that  to  have  something  to  say  which  is 
worth  hearing  is  the  substance  of  good  conversation,  we 
must  reckon  among  its  accidents  and  ornaments  a  man- 
ner which  knows  how  to  be  easy  and  free  without  being 
free  -  and  -  easy  ;  a  habitual  deference  to  the  tastes  and 
even  the  prejudices  of  other  people  ;  a  hearty  desire  to 
be,  or  at  least  to  seem,  interested  in  their  concerns  ;  and 
a  constant  recollection  that  even  the  most  patient  hear- 
ers may  sometimes  wish  to  be  speakers.     Above  all  else, 

136 


CONVERSATION 

the  agreeable  talker  cultivates  gentleness  and  delicacy  of 
speech,  avoids  aggressive  and  overwhelming  displays, 
and  remembers  the  tortured  cry  of  the  neurotic  bard  : 

"  Vociferated  logic  kills  me  quite  ; 
A  noisy  maa  is  always  in  the  right — 
I  twirl  my  thumbs,  fall  back  into  my  chair, 
Fix  on  the  wainscot  a  distressful  stare ; 
And  when  I  hope  his  blunders  all  are  out, 
Reply  discreetly,  '  To  be  sure — no  doubt !'  " 

If  these,  or  something  like  these,  are  the  attributes  of 
good  conversation,  in  whom  do  we  find  them  best  ex- 
emplified ?  Who  best  understands  the  Art  of  Conver- 
sation ?  Who,  in  a  word,  are  our  best  talkers  ?  I  hope 
that  I  shall  not  be  considered  ungallant  if  I  say  nothing 
about  the  part  borne  in  conversation  by  ladies.  Eeally, 
it  is  a  sacred  awe  that  makes  me  mute.  London  is  hap- 
py in  the  possession  of  not  a  few  hostesses,  excellently 
accomplished,  and  not  more  accomplished  than  gracious, 
of  whom  it  is  no  flattery  to  say  that  to  know  them  is  a 
liberal  education.  But,  as  Lord  Beaconsfield  observes 
in  a  more  than  usually  grotesque  passage  of  Lothair, 
"  We  must  not  profane  the  mysteries  of  Bona  Dea." 
We  will  not  ''peep  and  botanize"  on  sacred  soil,  nor 
submit  our  most  refined  delights  to  the  impertinences 
of  critical  analysis. 

In  considering  the  Art  of  Conversation  I  obey  a  nat- 
ural instinct  when  I  think  first  of  Mr.  Charles  Villiers, 
M.P.  His  venerable  age  alone  would  entitle  him  to  this 
pre-eminence,  for  he  was  born  in  1802,  and  though  he 
has  now  retired  from  general  society,  he  was  for  seventy 
years  one  of  the  best  talkers  in  London.  Born  of  a  fam- 
ily which  combined  high  rank  with  intellectual  distinc- 
tion, his  parentage  was  a  passport  to  all  that  was  best  in 
social  and  political  life.     It  argues  no  political  bias  to 

137 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

maintain  that  in  the  first  quarter  of  this  century  Tory- 
ism afiforded  its  neophytes  no  educational  opportunities 
equal  to  those  which  a  young  Whig  enjoyed  at  Bowood 
and  Panshanger  and  Holland  House.  There  the  best 
traditions  of  the  last  century  were  constantly  reinforced 
by  accessions  of  fresh  intellect.  The  charmed  circle  was 
indeed  essentially,  but  it  was  not  exclusively,  aristo- 
cratic ;  genius  held  the  key,  and  there  was  a  carriere 
ouverte  mix  taletits. 

Thus  it  came  to  pass  that  the  society  of  Lord  Lans- 
downe  and  Lord  Holland  and  Lord  Melbourne  was  also 
the  society  of  Brougham,  and  Mackintosh,  and  Macau- 
lay,  and  Sydney  Smith.  It  presented  every  variety  of 
accomplishment  and  experience  and  social  charm,  and 
offered  to  a  man  beginning  life  the  best  conceivable  edu- 
cation in  the  art  of  making  oneself  agreeable.  For  that 
art  Mr.  Villiers  had  a  natural  genius,  and  his  lifelong 
association  with  the  Whigs  superadded  a  technical  train- 
ing in  social  art.  But  this,  though  much,  was  by  no 
means  all.  I  hold  it  to  be  an  axiom  that  a  man  who  is 
only  a  member  of  society  can  never  be  so  agreeable  as 
one  who  is  something  else  as  well.  And  Mr.  Villiers, 
though  "a  man  about  town,"  a  story-teller,  and  a  diner- 
out  of  high  renown,  has  had  seventy  years'  experience 
of  practical  business  and  Parliamentary  life.  Thus  the 
resources  of  his  knowledge  have  been  perpetually  en- 
larged, and,  learning  much,  he  has  forgotten  nothing. 
The  stores  of  his  memory  are  full  of  treasures,  new  and 
old.  He  has  taken  part  in  the  making  of  history,  and 
can  estimate  the  great  men  of  the  present  day  by  a  com- 
parison with  the  political  immortals. 

That  this  comparison  is  not  always  favorable  to  some 
exalted  reputations  of  the  present  hour  is  indeed  suf- 
ficiently notorious  to  all  who  have  the  pleasure  of  Mr. 
Villiers's  acquaintance ;  and  nowhere  is  his  mastery  of 

138 


CONVERSATION 

the  art  of  conversation  more  conspicnous  than  in  his 
knack  of  implying  dislike  and  insinuating  contempt 
without  crude  abuse  or  noisy  denunciation.  He  has  a 
delicate  sense  of  fun,  a  keen  eye  for  incongruities  and 
absurdities,  and  that  genuine  cynicism  which  springs, 
not  from  the  poor  desire  to  be  thought  worldly-wise,  but 
from  a  lifelong  acquaintance  with  the  foibles  of  political 
men.  To  these  gifts  must  be  added  a  voice  which  age 
has  not  robbed  of  its  sympathetic  qualities,  a  style  of  dic- 
tion and  a  habit  of  pronunciation  which  belong  to  the 
last  century,  and  that  formal  yet  facile  courtesy  which 
no  one  less  than  eighty  years  old  seems  capable  of  even 
imitating, 

I  have  instanced  Mr.  Villiers  as  an  eminent  talker.  I 
now  turn  to  an  eminent  man  who  talks — Mr.  Gladstone. 
An  absurd  story  has  long  been  current  among  credulous 
people  with  rampant  prejudices  that  Mr.  Gladstone  was 
habitually  uncivil  to  the  Queen.  Now,  it  happens  that 
Mr.  Gladstone  is  the  most  courteous  of  mankind.  His 
courtesy  is  one  of  his  most  engaging  gifts,  and  accounts 
in  no  small  degree  for  his  power  of  attracting  the  regard 
of  young  men  and  undistinguished  people  generally.  To 
all  such  he  is  polite  to  the  point  of  deference,  yet  never 
condescending.  His  manners  to  all  alike  —  young  and 
old,  rich  and  poor — are  the  ceremonious  manners  of  the 
old  school,  and  his  demeanor  towards  ladies  is  a  model 
of  chivalrous  propriety.  It  would  therefore  have  been  to 
the  last  degree  improbable  that  he  should  make  a  depart- 
ure from  his  usual  habits  in  the  case  of  a  lady  who  was 
also  his  Sovereign.  And,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  the  story 
is  so  ridiculously  wide  of  the  mark  that  it  deserves  men- 
tion only  because,  in  itself  false,  it  is  founded  on  a  truth 
connected  with  the  subject  of  our  present  inquiry. 

"  1,"  said  the  Duke  of  Wellington  on  a  memorable  oc- 
casion, *'have  no  small  talk,  and  Peel  has  no  manners." 

139 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

Mr.  Gladstone  has  manners,  but  no  small  talk.  lie  is  so 
consumed  by  zeal  for  great  subjects  that  he  leaves  out  of 
account  the  possibility  that  they  may  not  interest  other 
people.  He  pays  to  every  one,  and  not  least  to  ladies, 
the  compliment  of  assuming  that  they  are  on  his  own  in- 
tellectual level,  engrossed  in  the  subjects  which  engross 
him,  and  furnished  with  at  least  as  much  information 
as  will  enable  them  to  follow  and  to  understand  him. 
Hence  the  genesis  of  that  absurd  story  about  his  de- 
meanor to  the  Queen. 

"  He  speaks  to  me  as  if  I  was  a  public  meeting,"  is  a 
complaint  which  is  said  to  have  proceeded  from  illustrious 
lips.  That  most  successful  of  all  courtiers,  the  astute 
Lord  Beaconsfield,  used  to  engage  her  Majesty  in  con- 
versation about  water-color  drawing  and  the  third-cousin- 
ships  of  German  princes.  Mr.  Gladstone  harangues  her 
about  the  polity  of  the  Hittites,  or  the  harmony  between 
the  Athanasiau  Creed  and  Homer.  The  Queen,  perplexed 
and  uncomfortable,  tries  to  make  a  digression — addresses 
a  remark  to  a  daughter,  or  proffers  biscuits  to  a  begging 
terrier.  Mr.  Gladstone  restrains  himself  with  an  effort 
till  the  Princess  has  answered  or  the  dog  has  sat  down, 
and  then  promptly  resumes:  "I  was  about  to  say — " 
Meanwhile  the  flood  has  gathered  force  by  delay,  and 
when  it  bursts  forth  again  it  carries  all  before  it. 

No  image  except  that  of  a  flood  can  convey  the  notion 
of  Mr.  Gladstone's  table-talk  on  a  subject  which  interests 
him  keenly — its  rapidity,  its  volume,  its  splash  and  dash, 
its  frequent  beauty,  its  striking  effects,  the  amount  of 
varied  matter  which  it  brings  with  it,  the  hopelessness  of 
trying  to  withstand  it,  the  unexpectedness  of  its  onrush, 
the  subdued  but  fertilized  condition  of  the  subjected  area 
over  which  it  has  passed.  The  bare  mention  of  a  topic 
which  interests  Mr.  Gladstone  opens  the  floodgates  and 
submerges  a  province.     But  the  torrent  does  not  wait  for 

140 


CONVERSATION 

the  invitation.  If  not  invited  it  comes  of  its  own  ac- 
cord ;  headlong,  overwhelming,  sweeping  all  before  it, 
and  gathering  fresh  force  from  every  obstacle  which  it 
encounters  on  its  course.  Such  is  Mr.  Gladstone's  table- 
talk.  For  conversation,  strictly  so  called,  he  has  no  turn. 
He  asks  questions  when  he  wants  information,  and  an- 
swers them  copiously  when  asked  by  others.  But  of 
give-and-take,  of  meeting  you  half-way,  of  paying  you 
back  in  your  own  conversational  coin,  he  has  no  notion. 
He  discourses,  he  lectures,  he  harangues.  But  if  a  sub- 
ject is  started  which  does  not  interest  him  it  falls  flat. 
He  makes  no  attempt  to  return  the  ball.  Although,  when 
he  is  amused,  his  amusement  is  intense  and  long  sus- 
tained, his  sense  of  humor  is  highly  capricious.  It  is  im- 
possible for  even  his  most  intimate  friends  to  guess  be- 
forehand what  will  amuse  him  and  what  will  not ;  and  he 
has  a  most  disconcerting  habit  of  taking  a  comic  story  in 
grim  earnest,  and  arguing  some  farcical  fantasy  as  if  it 
was  a  serious  proposition  of  law  or  logic.  Nothing  fun- 
nier can  be  imagined  than  the  discomfiture  of  a  story- 
teller who  has  fondly  thought  to  tickle  the  great  man's 
fancy  by  an  anecdote  which  depends  for  its  point  upon 
some  trait  of  baseness,  cynicism,  or  sharp  practice.  He 
finds  his  tale  received  in  dead  silence,  looks  up  wonder- 
ingly  for  an  explanation,  and  finds  that  what  was  in- 
tended to  amuse  has  only  disgusted.  Mr.  Browning  once 
told  Mr.  Gladstone  a  highly  characteristic  story  of  Dis- 
raelitish  duplicity,  and  for  all  reply  heard  a  voice  choked 
with  indignation  :  ''  Do  you  call  that  amusing.  Browning? 
I  callit  devilish." 


XV 

CONVERSATION 

More  than  thirty  years  have  passed  since  the  festive 
evening  described  by  Sir  George  Trevelyan  in  The  Ladies 
in  Parliament : 

"When,  over  the  port  of  the  innermost  bin, 
The  circle  of  diners  was  laughing  with  Phinn  ; 
When  Brookfield  had  hit  on  his  happiest  vein, 
And  Harcourt  was  capping  the  jokes  of  Delane." 

The  sole  survivor  of  that  brilliant  group  now  leads  the 
Opposition ;  but  at  the  time  when  the  lines  were  written 
he  had  not  yet  entered  the  House  of  Commons.  As  a 
youth  of  twenty -five  he  had  astonished  the  political 
world  by  his  anonymous  letters  on  The  Morality  of  Public 
Men,  in  which  he  denounced,  in  the  style  of  Junius,  the 
Protectionist  revival  of  1853,  and  to  which  he  prefixed 
the  scathing  motto : 

"  Quid  Grasses,  quid  Pompeios  evertit  ?  .  .  . 
Summus  nempe  locus  nulla  non  arte  pctitus." 

He  had  fought  a  plucky  but  unsuccessful  fight  at  Kirk- 
caldy; was  making  his  five  thousand  a  year  at  the  Par- 
liamentary Bar ;  had  taught  the  world  international  law 
over  the  signature  of  "  Historicus,"  and  was  already, 
what  he  is  still,  one  of  the  most  conspicuous  and  inter- 
esting figures  in  the  society  of  London.     Of  Sir  William 

142 


CONVERSATION 

Harcourt's  political  alliances  this  is  not  the  place  nor 
am  I  the  person  to  treat. 

"Let  the  high  Muse  chant  loves  Olympian: 
We  are  but  mortals,  and  must  sing  of  Man." 

My  theme  is  not  Sir  William  Harcourt  the  politican,  but 
Sir  William  Harcourt  the  man,  the  member  of  society — 
above  all,  the  talker.  And,  although  I  have  thus  delib- 
erately put  politics  on  one  side,  it  is  strictly  relevant  to 
my  purpose  to  observe  that  Sir  William  is  essentially  and 
typically  a  Whig.  For  Whiggery,  rightly  understood, 
is  not  a  political  creed,  but  a  social  caste.  The  Whig, 
like  the  poet,  is  born,  not  made.  It  is  as  difl&cult  to  be- 
come a  Whig  as  to  become  a  Jew.  Macaulay  was  proba- 
bly the  only  man  who,  being  born  outside  the  privileged 
enclosure,  ever  penetrated  to  its  heart  and  assimilated 
its  spirit.  The  Whigs,  indeed,  as  a  body  have  held  cer- 
tain political  opinions  and  pursued  certain  political  tac- 
tics which  have  been  analyzed  by  the  hand  of  a  master 
in  Chapters  XIX.  and  XXI.  of  the  unexpurgated  Book  of 
Snobs.  But  those  opinions  and  those  practices  have  been 
mere  accidents,  though  perhaps  inseparable  accidents,  of 
Whiggery.     Its  substance  has  been  relationship. 

When  Lord  John  Russell  formed  his  first  Administra- 
tion his  opponents  alleged  that  it  was  mainly  composed 
of  his  cousins,  and  one  of  his  younger  brothers  was 
charged  with  the  impossible  task  of  rebutting  the  accu- 
sation in  a  public  speech.  Mr.  Beresford  Hope,  in  one 
of  his  novels,  made  excellent  fun  of  what  he  called  "  the 
sacred  circle  of  the  great- grand -motherhood."  He 
showed — what,  indeed,  the  Whigs  themselves  knew  un- 
commonly well —  that  from  a  certain  Earl  Gower,  who 
flourished  in  the  last  century,  and  was  great-great-great- 
grandfather of  the  present  Duke  of  Sutherland,  are  de- 
scended all  the  Levesons,  Cowers,  Howards,  Cavendishes, 

143 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

Grosvenors,  Russells,  and  Ilarcourts  who  walk  on  the 
face  of  the  earth.  Truly  a  noble  and  a  highly  favored 
progeny.  ''They  are  our  superiors,"  said  Thackeray; 
"and  that's  the  fact.  I  am  not  a  Whig  myself  (perhaps 
it  is  as  unnecessary  to  say  so  as  to  say  I'm  not  a  King 
Pippin  in  a  golden  coach,  or  King  Hudson,  or  Miss  Bur- 
dett-Coutts).  Fm  not  a  Whig ;  but  oh,  how  I  should 
like  to  be  one  !" 

From  this  illustrious  stock  Sir  William  Harcourt  is 
descended  through  his  grandmother.  Lady  Anne  Har- 
court— born  Leveson-Gower,  and  wife  of  the  last  Prince- 
Archbishop  of  York  (whom,  by  the  way.  Sir  William 
strikingly  resembles  both  in  figure  and  in  feature). 
When  one  meets  Sir  William  Harcourt  for  the  first  time 
in  society,  perhaps  one  is  first  struck  by  the  fact  that  he 
is  in  aspect  and  bearing  a  great  gentleman  of  the  old 
school,  and  then  that  he  is  an  admirable  talker.  He  is  a 
true  Whig  in  culture  as  well  as  in  blood.  Though  his 
conversation  is  never  pedantic,  it  rests  on  a  wide  and 
strong  basis  of  generous  learning.  Even  those  who  most 
cordially  admire  his  political  ability  do  not  always  re- 
member that  he  is  an  excellent  scholar,  and  graduated 
as  eighth  in  the  First  Class  of  the  Classical  Tripos  in 
the  year  when  Bishop  Lightfoot  was  Senior  Classic.  He 
has  the  Corpus  Poetarum  and  Shakspeare  and  Pope  at 
his  finger-ends,  and  his  intimate  acquaintance  with  the 
political  history  of  England  elicited  a  characteristic  com- 
pliment from  Lord  Beaconsfield.  It  is  his  favorite  boast 
that  in  all  his  tastes,  sentiments,  and  mental  habits  he 
belongs  to  the  eighteenth  century,  which  he  glorifies  as 
the  golden  age  of  reason,  patriotism,  and  liberal  learn- 
ing. This  self -estimate  strikes  me  as  perfectly  sound, 
and  it  requires  a  very  slight  effort  of  the  imagination 
to  conceive  this  well-born  young  Templar  wielding  his 
doughty  pen  in  the  Bangorian  Controversy,  or  declaim- 

144 


CONVERSATION 

ing  on  the  hnstings  for  Wilkes  and  Liberty;  bandying 
witticisms  with  Sheridan,  and  capping  Latin  verses  with 
Charles  James  Fox ;  or  helping  to  rule  England  as  a 
member  of  that  "Venetian  Oligarchy"  on  which  Lord 
Beaconsfield  lavished  all  the  vials  of  his  sarcasm.  In 
truth,  it  is  not  fanciful  to  say  that  whatever  was  best  in 
the  last  century  —  its  robust  common  -  sense,  its  racy 
humor,  its  thorough  and  unaffected  learning,  its  cere- 
monious courtesy  for  great  occasions,  its  jolly  self-aban- 
donment in  social  intercourse  —  is  exhibited  in  the  de- 
meanor and  conversation  of  Sir  William  Harcourt.  He 
is  an  admirable  host,  and,  to  borrow  a  phrase  from  Syd- 
ney Smith,  "receives  his  friends  with  that  honest  Joy 
which  warms  more  than  dinner  or  wine."  As  a  guest, 
he  is  a  splendid  acquisition,  always  ready  to  amuse  and 
to  be  amused,  delighting  in  the  rapid  cut-and-thrust  of 
personal  banter,  and  bringing  out  of  his  treasure  things 
new  and  old  for  the  amusement  and  the  benefit  of  a  later 
and  less  instructed  generation. 

Extracts  from  the  private  conversation  of  living  peo- 
ple, as  a  rule,  I  forbear  ;  but  some  of  Sir  William's  quota- 
tions are  so  extraordinarily  apt  that  they  deserve  a  per- 
manent place  in  the  annals  of  table-talk.  That  famous 
old  country  gentleman,  the  late  Sir  Eainald  Knightley 
(who  was  the  living  double  of  Dickens's  Sir  Leicester 
Dedlock),  had  been  expatiating  after  dinner  on  the  un- 
doubted glories  of  his  famous  pedigree.  The  company 
was  getting  a  little  restive  under  the  recitation,  when  Sir 
William  was  heard  to  say,  in  an  appreciative  aside,  "  This 
reminds  me  of  Addison's  evening  hymn  : 

'"And  Knightley  to  the  listening  earth 
Repeats  the  story  of  his  birth.'" 

Surely  the  force  of  apt  citation  can  no  farther  go.    When 
Lord  Tennyson  chanced  to  say  in  Sir  William  Harcourt's 
K  145 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

hearing  that  his  pipe  after  breakfast  was  the  most  enjoy- 
able of  the  day,  Sir  William  softy  murmured  the  Tenny- 
sonian  line  : 

"The  earliest  pipe  of  half -awakened  birds." 

Some  historians  say  that  he  substituted  *' bards"  for 
"  birds,"  and  the  reception  accorded  by  the  poet  to  the 
parody  was  not  as  cordial  as  its  excellence  deserved. 

Another  capital  talker  is  Sir  George  Trevelyan.  He 
has  been,  from  the  necessities  of  his  position,  a  man  of 
the  world  and  a  politician,  and  he  is  as  ready  as  Mr.  Ber- 
tie -  Tremaine's  guests  in  Endymion  to  talk  of  "  that 
heinous  subject  on  which  enormous  fibs  are  ever  told — 
the  Registration."  But,  after  all,  the  man  of  the  world 
and  the  politician  are  only  respectable  parts  which  he  has 
been  bound  to  assume,  and  he  has  played  them  with  as- 
siduity and  success  ;  but  the  true  man  in  Sir  George 
Trevelyan  is  the  man  of  letters.  Whenever  he  touches  a 
historical  or  literary  theme  his  whole  being  seems  to  un- 
dergo a  transformation.  The  real  nature  flashes  out 
through  his  twinkling  eyes.  While  he  muses  the  fire 
burns,  and,  like  the  Psalmist,  he  speaks  with  his  tongue. 
Dates  and  details,  facts  and  traditions,  cantos  of  poetry, 
reams  of  prose,  English  and  Latin  and  Greek  and  French, 
come  tumbling  out  in  headlong  but  not  disorderly  array. 
He  jumps  at  an  opening,  seizes  an  allusion,  replies  with 
lightning  quickness  to  a  conversational  challenge,  and  is 
ready  at  a  moment's  notice  to  decide  any  literary  or  his- 
torical controversy  in  a  measured  tone  of  deliberate  em- 
phasis which  is  not  wholly  free  from  exaggeration.  Like 
his  uncle.  Lord  Macaulay,  Sir  George  Trevelyan  has  "his 
own  heightened  and  telling  way  of  putting  things,"  and 
those  who  know  him  well  make  allowance  for  this  habit. 
For  the  rest,  he  is  delightful  company,  light-hearted  as  a 
boy,  full  of  autobiographical  chit-chat  about  Harrow  and 

146 


CONVERSATION 

Trinity,  and  India  and  Holly  Lodge,  eagerly  interested  in 
his  friends'  concerns,  brimming  over  with  enthusiasm, 
never  bored,  never  flat,  never  stale.  A  well -concerted 
party  is  a  kind  of  unconscious  conspiracy  to  promote 
cheerfulness  and  enjoyment,  and  in  such  an  undertaking 
there  can  be  no  more  serviceable  ally  than  Sir  George 
Trevelyan. 

Mr.  John  Morley's  agreeableness  in  conversation  is  of  a 
d liferent  kind.  His  leading  characteristic  is  a  dignified 
austerity  of  demeanor  which  repels  familiarity  and  tends 
to  keep  conversation  on  a  high  level ;  but  each  time  one 
meets  him  there  is  less  formality  and  less  restraint,  and 
the  grave  courtesy  which  never  fails  is  soon  touched  with 
friendliness  and  frank  good -humor  in  a  singularly  at- 
tractive fashion.  He  talks,  not  much,  but  remarkably 
well.  His  sentences  are  deliberate,  clear-cut,  often  elo- 
quent. He  excels  in  phrase-making.  His  quotations  are 
apt  and  novel.  His  fine  taste  and  varied  reading  enable 
him  to  hold  his  own  in  many  fields  where  the  merely  pro- 
fessional politician  is  apt  to  be  terribly  astray.  His  kind- 
ness to  social  and  literary  beginners  is  one  of  his  most 
engaging  traits.  He  invariably  finds  something  pleasant 
to  say  about  the  most  immature  and  unpromising  efforts, 
and  he  has  the  knack  of  so  handling  his  own  early  expe- 
rience as  to  make  it  an  encouragement  and  a  stimulus, 
and  not  (as  the  manner  of  some  is)  a  burden  and  a  bogey. 
Mr.  Morley  never  obtrudes  his  own  opinions,  never  intro- 
duces debatable  matter,  never  dogmatizes.  But  he  is 
always  ready  to  pick  up  the  gauntlet,  especially  if  a  Tory 
flings  it  down ;  is  merciless  towards  ill-informed  asser- 
tion, and  is  the  alert  and  unsparing  enemy  of  what  Mr. 
Ruskin  calls  "  the  obscene  empires  of  Mammon  and 
Belial." 

Lord  Salisbury  goes  so  little  into  general  society  that 
his  qualities  as  a  talker  are  not  familiarly  known.     He  is 

147 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

painfully  shy,  and  at  a  club  or  in  a  large  party  undergoes 
the  torments  of  the  lost.  Yet  no  one  can  listen,  even 
casually,  to  his  conversation  without  appreciating  the 
fine  manner,  full  of  both  dignity  and  of  courtesy ;  the 
utter  freedom  from  pomposity,  formality,  and  self-as- 
sertion, and  the  agreeable  dash  of  genuine  cynicism 
which  modifies,  though  it  does  not  mask,  the  flavor  of 
his  fun.  After  a  visit  to  Hatfield  in  1868,  Bishop  Wil- 
berforce  wrote  in  his  diary  :  '*  Gladstone  how  struck 
with  Salisbury:  'Never  saw  a  more  perfect  host.'" 
And  again:  "He  remarked  to  me  on  the  great  power 
of  charming  and  pleasant  host-ing  possessed  by  Salis- 
bury." And  it  is  the  universal  testimony  of  Lord  Salis- 
bury's guests,  whether  at  Hatfield  or  in  Arlington  Street, 
that  he  is  seen  at  his  very  best  in  his  own  house.  The 
combination  of  such  genuine  amiability  in  private  life 
with  such  calculated  brutality  in  public  utterance  con- 
stitutes a  psychological  problem  which  might  profitably 
be  made  the  subject  of  a  Romanes  Lecture. 

Barring  the  shyness,  from  which  Mr.  Balfour  is  con- 
spicuously free,  there  is  something  of  Lord  Salisbury's 
social  manner  about  his  accomplished  nephew.  He  has 
the  same  courtesy,  the  same  sense  of  humor,  the  same 
freedom  from  official  solemnity.  But  the  characteristics 
of  the  elder  man  are  exaggerated  in  the  younger.  The 
cynicism  which  is  natural  in  Lord  Salisbury  is  affected 
in  Mr.  Balfour.  He  cultivates  the  art  of  indifference, 
and  gives  himself  the  airs  of  a  jaded  Epicurean  who 
craves  only  for  a  new  sensation.  There  is  what  an  Irish 
member,  in  a  moment  of  inspiration,  called  a  "  toplofti- 
ness"  about  his  social  demeanor  which  is  not  a  little  irri- 
tating. He  is  too  anxious  to  show  that  he  is  not  as  other 
men  are.  Among  politicians  he  is  a  philosopher  ;  among 
philosophers,  a  politician.  Before  that  hard-bitten  crew 
whom  Burke  ridiculed — the  "calculators  and  economists" 

148 


CONVERSATION 

— he  will  talk  airily  of  golf  and  ladies'  fashions;  and 
ladies  he  will  seek  to  impress  by  the  Praise  of  Vivisection 
or  the  Defence  of  Philosophic  Doubt.  His  social  agree- 
ableness  has,  indeed,  been  marred  by  the  fatuous  idolatry 
of  a  fashionable  clique,  stimulating  the  self-consciousness 
which  was  his  natural  foible  ;  but  when  he  can  for  a  mo- 
ment forget  himself  he  still  is  excellent  company,  for  he 
is  genuinely  amiable  and  thoroughly  well  informed. 


XVI 

CONVERSATION 

The  writer  of  these  chapters  has  always  felt  some  in- 
ward affinity  to  the  character  of  Lord  St.  Jerome  in 
Lothair,  of  whom  it  is  recorded  that  he  loved  conversa- 
tion, thongh  he  never  conversed.  ''There  must  be  an 
audience/'  he  would  say,  "and  I  am  the  audience."  In 
my  capacity  of  audience  I  assign  a  high  place  to  the 
agreeableness  of  Lord  Rosebery's  conversation.  To  be- 
gin with,  he  has  a  delightful  voice.  It  is  low,  but  per- 
fectly distinct,  rich  and  sympathetic  in  quality,  and  sin- 
gularly refined  in  accent.  It  is  exactly  the  sort  of  voice 
which  bespeaks  the  goodwill  of  the  hearer  and  recom- 
mends what  it  utters.  In  a  former  chapter  we  agreed  that 
the  chief  requisite  of  good  conversation  is  to  have  some- 
thing to  say  which  is  worth  saying ;  and  here  Lord  Rose- 
bery  is  excellently  equipped.  Last  week  the  newspapers 
announced  with  a  flourish  of  rhetorical  trumpets  that  he 
had  just  celebrated  his  fiftieth  birthday.*  Some  of  the 
trumpeters,  with  a  laudable  intention  to  be  civil,  cried, 
"Is  it  possible  that  he  can  be  so  old  ?"  Others,  with 
subtler  art,  professed  themselves  unable  to  believe  that 
he  was  so  young.  Each  compliment  contained  its  ele- 
ment of  truth.  In  appearance,  air,  and  tastes  Lord  Rose- 
bery  is  still  young.  In  experience,  knowledge,  and  con- 
duct he  is  already  old.     He  has  had  a  vivid  and  a  varied 

*  May  7,  1897. 
150 


CONVERSATION 

experience.  He  is  equally  at  home  on  Epsom  Downs 
and  in  the  House  of  Lords.  His  life  has  been  full  of  ac- 
tion, incident,  and  interest.  He  has  not  only  collected 
books,  but  has  read  them ;  and  has  found  time,  even 
amid  the  engrossing  demands  of  the  London  County 
Council,  the  Turf,  and  the  Foreign  Office,  not  only 
for  study,  but  —  what  is  much  more  remarkable  —  for 
thought. 

So  far,  then,  as  substance  goes,  his  conversation  is  (to 
use  Mr.  Gladstone's  quaint  phrase)  "as  full  of  infinitely 
varied  matter  as  an  egg  is  full  of  meat";  and  in  its  ac- 
cidents and  ornaments  it  complies  exactly  with  the  con- 
ditions laid  down  in  a  former  paper — a  manner  which 
knows  how  to  be  easy  and  free  without  being  free-and- 
easy  ;  habitual  deference  to  the  tastes  and  prejudices  of 
other  people ;  a  courteous  desire  to  be,  or  at  least  to 
seem,  interested  in  their  concerns  ;  and  a  recollection 
that  even  the  most  patient  hearers  (among  whom  the 
present  writer  reckons  himself)  may  sometimes  wish  to 
be  speakers.  To  these  gifts  he  adds  a  keen  sense  of 
humor,  a  habit  of  close  observation,  and  a  sub-acid  vein 
of  sarcasm  which  resembles  the  dash  of  Tarragon  in  a 
successful  salad.  In  a  word.  Lord  Rosebery  is  one  of  the 
most  agreeable  talkers  of  the  day ;  and  even  if  it  is  true 
that  il  s'ecoute  quand  il  jMrle,  his  friends  may  reply  that 
it  would  be  strange  indeed  if  one  could  help  listening  to 
what  is  always  so  agreeable  and  often  so  brilliant. 

A  genial  journalist  recently  said  that  Mr.  Goschen 
was  now  chiefly  remembered  by  the  fact  that  he  had 
once  had  Sir  Alfred  Milner  for  his  private  secretary. 
But,  whatever  may  be  thought  of  the  First  Lord  of  the 
Admiralty  as  a  politician  and  an  administrator,  I  claim 
for  him  a  high  place  among  agreeable  talkers.  There 
are  some  men  who  habitually  use  the  same  style  of  speech 
in  public  and  private  life.     Happily  for  his  friends,  this 

151 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

is  not  the  case  with  Mr.  Goschen.  Nothing  can  be  less 
agreeable  than  his  public  style,  whether  on  the  platform 
or  in  the  House  of  Commons.  Its  tawdry  staginess,  its 
"Sadler's  "Wells  sarcasm,"  its  constant  striving  after 
strong  effects,  are  distressing  to  good  taste.  But  in  pri- 
vate life  he  is  another  and  a  much  more  agreeable  man. 
He  is  courteous,  genial,  perfectly  free  from  affectation, 
and  enters  into  the  discussion  of  social  banalities  as 
eagerly  and  as  brightly  as  if  he  had  never  converted  the 
Three  per  Cents,  or  established  the  ratio  between  dead 
millionaires  and  new  iron-clads.  His  easiness  in  con- 
versation is  perhaps  a  little  marred  by  a  Teutonic  ten- 
dency to  excessive  analysis  which  will  not  suffer  him  to 
rest  until  he  has  resolved  every  subject,  and  almost  every 
phrase,  into  its  primary  elements.  But  this  philosophic 
temperament  has  its  counterbalancing  advantages  in  a 
genuine  openness  of  mind,  willingness  to  weigh  and 
measure  opposing  views,  and  inaccessibility  to  intellect- 
ual passion.  It  is  true  that  on  the  platform  the  exigen- 
cies of  his  position  compel  him  to  indulge  in  mock- 
heroics  and  cut  rhetorical  capers  for  which  nature  never 
designed  him  ;  but  these  are  for  public  consumption  only, 
and  when  he  is  not  playing  to  the  gallery  he  can  discuss 
his  political  opponents  and  their  sayings  and  doings  as 
dispassionately  as  a  microscopist  examines  a  black"  beetle. 
Himself  a  good  talker,  Mr.  Goschen  encourages  good 
talk  in  other  people ;  and  in  old  days,  when  the  Art  of 
Conversation  was  still  seriously  cultivated,  he  used  to 
gather  round  his  table  in  Portland  Place  a  group  of  inti- 
mate friends  who  found  in  '34  port  the  true  well-spring 
of  successful  conversation.  Among  these  were  Lord 
Sherbrooke,  whose  aptness  in  quotation  and  dexterity  in 
repartee  have  never  been  surpassed  in  my  experience; 
and  Lord  Chief  Justice  Cockburn,  whose  "sunny  face 
and  voice  of  music,  which  lent  melody  to  scorn  and 

153 


CONVERSATION 

sometimes  reached  the  depth  of  pathos/'  were  gracefully 
commemorated  by  Lord  Beaconsfield  in  his  sketch  of 
Hortensins.  But  this  belongs  to  ancient  history,  and 
my  business  is  with  the  conversation  of  to-day. 

Very  distinctly  of  to-day  is  the  conversation  of  Mr. 
Labouchere.  Even  our  country  cousins  are  aware  that 
the  Member  for  Northampton  is  less  an  ornament  of 
general  society  than  the  oracle  of  an  initiated  circle. 
The  smoking-room  of  the  House  of  Commons  is  his 
shrine,  and  there,  poised  in  an  American  rocking-chair 
and  delicately  toying  with  a  cigarette,  he  unlocks  the 
varied  treasures  of  his  well-stored  memory,  and  throws 
over  the  changing  scenes  of  life  the  mild  light  of  his 
genial  philosophy.  It  is  a  chequered  experience  that  has 
made  him  what  he  is.  He  has  known  men  and  cities  ; 
has  probed  in  turn  the  mysteries  of  the  caucus,  the 
green-room,  and  the  Stock  Exchange  ;  has  been  a  diplo- 
matist, a  financier,  a  journalist,  and  a  politician.  Under 
these  circumstances,  it  is  perhaps  not  surprising  that  his 
faith  —  no  doubt  originally  robust  —  in  the  purity  of 
human  nature  and  the  uprightness  of  human  motive 
should  have  undergone  some  process  of  degeneration. 
Still  it  may  be  questioned  whether,  after  all  that  he  has 
seen  and  done,  he  is  the  absolute  and  all-round  cynic 
that  he  would  seem  to  be.  The  palpable  endeavor  to 
make  out  the  worst  of  every  one — including  himself — 
gives  a  certain  flavor  of  unreality  to  his  conversation ; 
but,  in  spite  of  this  peculiarity,  he  is  an  engaging  talker. 
His  language  is  racy  and  incisive,  and  he  talks  as  neatly 
as  he  writes.  His  voice  is  pleasant,  and  his  utterance 
deliberate  and  effective.  He  has  a  keen  eye  for  absurdi- 
ties and  incongruities,  a  shrewd  insight  into  affectation 
and  bombast,  and  an  admirable  impatience  of  all  the 
moral  and  intellectual  qualities  which  constitute  the 
Bore.     He  is  by  no  means  inclined  to  bow  his  knee  too 

153 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

slavishly  to  an  exalted  reputation,  and  analyzes  with  agree- 
able frankness  the  personal  and  political  qualities  of  great 
and  good  men,  even  if  they  sit  on  the  Front  Opposition 
Bench.  As  a  contributor  to  enjoyment,  as  a  promoter 
of  fun,  as  an  uuniasker  of  political  and  social  humbug, 
he  is  unsurpassed.  His  performances  in  debate  are  no 
concern  of  mine,  for  I  am  speaking  of  conversation  only  ; 
but  most  Members  of  Parliament  will  agree  that  he  is 
the  best  companion  that  can  be  found  for  the  last  weary 
half-hour  before  the  division-bell  rings,  when  some  emi- 
nent nonentity  is  declaiming  his  forgone  conclusions  to 
an  audience  whose  whole  mind  is  fixed  on  the  chance  of 
finding  a  disengaged  cab  in  Palace  Yard. 

Like  Mr.  Labouchere,  Lord  Acton  has  touched  life  at 
many  points — but  not  the  same  ones.  He  is  a  theologian, 
a  professor,  a  man  of  letters,  a  member  of  society  ;  and 
his  conversation  derives  a  distinct  tinge  from  each  of 
these  environments.  When,  at  intervals  all  too  long,  he 
quits  his  retirement  at  Cannes  or  Cambridge,  and  flits 
mysteriously  across  the  social  scene,  his  appearance  is 
hailed  with  devout  rejoicing  by  every  one  who  appreci- 
ates manifold  learning,  a  courtly  manner,  and  a  delicately 
sarcastic  vein  of  humor.  The  distinguishing  feature  of 
Lord  Acton's  conversation  is  an  air  of  sphinx-like  mys- 
tery, which  suggests  that  he  knows  a  great  deal  more  than 
he  is  willing  to  impart.  Partly  by  what  he  says,  and  even 
more  by  what  he  leaves  unsaid,  his  hearers  are  made  to 
feel  that,  if  he  has  not  acted  conspicuous  parts,  he  has 
been  behind  the  scenes  of  many  and  very  different  thea- 
tres. 

He  has  had  relations,  neither  few  nor  unimportant, 
with  the  Pope  and  Old  Catholics,  with  Oxford  and  Lam- 
beth, with  the  cultivated  Whiggery  of  the  great  English 
families,  with  the  philosophic  radicalism  of  Germany,  and 
with  those  Nationalist  complications  which,  in  these  later 

154 


CONVERSATION 

days,  have  drawn  official  Liberalism  into  their  folds.  He 
has  long  lived  on  terms  of  the  closest  intimacy  with  Mr. 
Gladstone,  and  may  perhaps  be  bracketed  with  Canon 
MacColl  and  Sir  Algernon  "West  as  the  most  absolute  and 
profound  Gladstonian  outside  the  family  circle  of  Hawar- 
den.  But  he  is  thoroughly  eclectic  in  his  friendships, 
and  when  he  is  in  London  he  flits  from  Lady  Hayter's 
tea-table  to  Mr.  Goschen's  bureau,  analyzes  at  the  Athe- 
naeum the  gossip  which  he  has  acquired  at  Brooks's,  and 
by  dinner-time  is  able,  if  only  he  is  willing,  to  tell  you 
what  the  Greek  intends  and  what  the  Turk  ;  the  secret 
reasons  for  Archbishop  Temple's  appointment,  and  the 
subject  of  Mr.  Gladstone's  next  book  ;  how  long  Lord 
Salisbury  will  combine  the  Premiership  with  the  Foreign 
Office  ;  and  the  latest  theory  about  the  side  of  Whitehall 
on  which  Charles  L  was  beheaded. 

The  ranks  of  our  good  talkers — none  too  numerous  a 
body  at  the  best,  and  sadly  thinned  by  the  losses  which  I 
described  in  a  former  paper — have  been  opportunely  re- 
inforced by  the  discovery  of  Mr.  Augustine  Birrell.  For 
forty-seven  years  he  has  walked  this  earth,  but  it  is  only 
during  the  last  eight — in  short,  since  he  entered  Parlia- 
ment— that  the  admirable  qualities  of  his  conversation 
have  been  generally  recognized.  Before  that  time  his  de- 
lightful Obiter  Dicta  had  secured  for  him  a  wide  circle  of 
friends  who  had  never  seen  his  face,  and  by  these  admir- 
ers his  first  appearance  on  the  social  scene  was  awaited 
with  lively  interest.  What  would  he  be  like  ?  Should 
we  be  disillusioned  ?  Would  he  talk  as  pleasantly  as  he 
wrote  ?  "Well,  in  due  course  he  appeared,  and  the  ques- 
tions were  soon  answered  in  a  sense  as  laudatory  as  his 
friends  or  even  himself  could  have  desired.  It  was 
unanimously  voted  that  his  conversation  was  as  agreeable 
as  his  writing  ;  but,  oddly  enough,  its  agreeableness  was 
of  an  entirely  different  kind.     His  literary  knack  of 

155 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

chatty  criticism  had  required  a  new  word  to  convey  its 
precise  effect.  To  "birrell"  is  now  a  verb  as  firmly  es- 
tablished as  to  "  boycott,"  and  it  signifies  a  style,  light, 
easy,  playful,  pretty,  rather  discursive,  perhaps  a  little 
superficial.  Its  characteristic  note  is  grace.  But  when 
the  eponymous  hero  of  the  new  verb  entered  the  conver- 
sational lists  it  was  seen  that  his  predominant  quality  was 
strength. 

An  enthusiastic  admirer  who  sketched  him  in  a  novel 
christened  him  with  the  nickname  of  "The  Harmonious 
Blacksmith,"  and  the  collocation  of  words  happily  hits 
off  the  special  quality  of  his  conversation.  There  is  burly 
strength  in  his  positive  opinions,  his  cogent  statement, 
his  remorseless  logic,  his  thorough  knowledge  of  the  per- 
sons and  things  that  he  discusses.  In  his  sledge-hammer 
blows  against  humbug  and  wickedness,  intellectual  affec- 
tation, and  moral  baseness,  he  is  the  Blacksmith  all  over. 
In  his  geniality,  his  sociability,  his  genuine  love  of  fun, 
his  frank  readiness  to  amuse  or  be  amused,  the  epithet 
*' harmonious"  is  abundantly  justified.  He  cultivates  to 
some  extent  the  airs  and  tones  of  the  last  century,  in 
which  his  studies  have  largely  lain.  He  says  what  he 
means,  and  calls  a  spade  a  spade,  and  glories  in  an  old- 
fashioned  prejudice.  He  is  the  jolliest  of  companions 
and  the  steadiest  of  friends,  and  perhaps  the  most  genu- 
ine book-lover  in  London,  where,  as  a  rule,  society  is 
too  '^ cultured"  to  read  books,  though  willing  enough  to 
chatter  about  them. 


XVII 

CLERGYMEN 

Olerus  Anglicanus  stupor  rrnindi.  I  believe  that  this 
complimentary  proverb  originally  referred  to  the  learn- 
ing of  the  English  clergy,  but  it  would  apply  with  equal 
truth  to  their  social  agreeableness.  When  I  was  writing 
about  the  Art  of  Conversation  and  the  men  who  excelled 
in  it,  I  was  surprised  to  find  how  many  of  the  best  say- 
ings that  recurred  spontaneously  to  my  memory  had  a 
clerical  origin ;  and  it  struck  me  that  a  not  uninterest- 
ing paper  might  be  written  about  the  social  agreeable- 
ness of  clergymen.  A  mere  layman  may  well  feel  a  nat- 
ural and  becoming  diffidence  in  venturing  to  handle  so 
high  a  theme. 

In  a  former  paper  I  said  something  of  the  secular  mag- 
nificence which  surrounded  great  prelates  in  the  good 
old  days,  when  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  could 
only  be  approached  on  gilt-edged  paper ;  and  even  the 
Bishop  of  impecunious  Oxford  never  appeared  in  his 
Cathedral  city  without  four  horses  and  two  powdered 
footmen.  In  a  certain  sense,  no  doubt,  these  splendid 
products  of  established  religion  conduced  to  social  agree- 
ableness. Like  the  excellent  prelate  described  in  Friend- 
ship's Garland,  they  "  had  thoroughly  learned  the  divine 
lesson  that  charity  begins  at  home."  They  maintained 
an  abundant  hospitality  ;  they  celebrated  domestic  events 
by  balls  at  the  episcopal  palace  ;  they  did  not  disdain  (as 
we  gather  from  the  Life  of  the  Hon.  and  Kev.  George 

157 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

Spencer)  the  relaxation  of  a  rubber  of  whist,  even  on 
the  night  before  an  Ordination,  with  a  candidate  for  a 
partner.  They  dined  out,  like  that  well -drawn  bishop 
in  Little  Dorrit,  who  "  was  crisp,  fresh,  cheerful,  affable, 
bland,  but  so  surprisingly  innocent";  or  like  the  prel- 
ate on  whom  Thackeray  moralized:  "My  Lord,  I  was 
pleased  to  see  good  thing  after  good  thing  disappear  be- 
fore you ;  and  think  that  no  man  ever  better  became  that 
rounded  episcopal  apron.  How  amiable  he  was !  how 
kind  !  He  put  water  into  his  wine.  Let  us  respect  the 
moderation  of  the  Establishment." 

But  the  agreeableness  which  I  had  in  my  mind  when 
I  took  upon  myself  to  discourse  of  agreeable  clergymen 
was  not  an  official  but  a  personal  agreeableness.  We 
have  been  told  on  high  authority  that  the  merriment  of 
parsons  is  mighty  offensive;  but  the  truth  of  this  dic- 
tum depends  entirely  on  the  topic  of  the  merriment.  A 
clergyman  who  made  light  of  the  religion  which  he  pro- 
fessed to  teach,  or  even  joked  about  the  incidents  and 
accompaniments  of  his  sacred  calling,  would  by  common 
consent  be  intolerable.  Decency  exacts  from  priests  at 
least  a  semblance  of  piety  ;  but  I  entirely  deny  that  there 
is  anything  offensive  in  the  ''merriment  of  parsons" 
when  it  plays  round  subjects  outside  the  scope  of  their 
professional  duties. 

Of  Sydney  Smith  Lord  Houghton  recorded  that  "he 
never,  except  once,  knew  him  to  make  a  jest  on  any  re- 
ligious subject,  and  then  he  immediately  withdi'ew  his 
words,  and  seemed  ashamed  that  he  had  uttered  them"; 
and  I  regard  the  admirable  Sydney  as  not  only  the 
supreme  head  of  all  ecclesiastical  jesters,  but  as,  on  the 
whole,  the  greatest  humorist  whose  jokes  have  come 
down  to  us  in  an  authentic  and  unmutilated  form.  Al- 
most alone  among  professional  jokers,  he  made  his  merri- 
ment— rich,  natural,  fantastic,  unbridled  as  it  was — sub- 

158 


CLERGYMEN 

serve  the  serious  purposes  of  his  life  and  writing.  Each 
joke  was  a  link  in  an  argument;  each  sarcasm  was  a 
moral  lesson. 

Peter  Plymley's  Letters,  and  those  addressed  to  Arch- 
deacon Singleton,  the  Essays  on  American  Taxation  and 
Peisecufing  Bishojjs,  will  probably  be  read  as  long  as  the 
Tale  of  a  Tub  or  Macaulay's  review  of  Montgomery's 
Poems;  while  of  detached  and  isolated  jokes  —  pure 
freaks  of  fun  clad  in  literary  garb — an  incredible  num- 
ber of  those  which  are  current  in  daily  converse  deduce  ^ 
their  birth  from  this  incomparable  Canon. 

When  one  is  talking  of  facetious  clergymen,  it  is  in- 
evitable to  think  of  Bishop  Wilberforce  ;  but  his  humor 
was  of  an  entirely  different  quality  from  that  of  Syd- 
ney Smith.  To  begin  with,  it  is  unquotable.  It  must, 
I  think,  have  struck  every  reader  of  the  Bishop's  Life, 
whether  in  the  three  huge  volumes  of  the  authorized 
Biography  or  in  the  briefer  but  more  characteristic  mon- 
ograph of  Dean  Burgon,  that,  though  the  biographers  — 
had  themselves  tasted  and  enjoyed  to  the  full  the  pecul- 
iar flavor  of  his  fun,  they  utterly  failed  in  the  attempt 
to  convey  it  to  the  reader.  Puerile  puns,  personal  ban- 
ter of  a  rather  homely  type,  and  good  stories  collected 
from  other  people  are  all  that  the  books  disclose.  Ani- 
mal spirits  did  the  rest ;  and  yet,  by  the  concurrent  tes- 
timony of  nearly  all  who  knew  him.  Bishop  Wilberforce 
was  not  only  one  of  the  most  agreeable  but  one  of  the 
most  amusing  men  of  his  time.  We  know  from  one  of 
his  own  letters  that  he  peculiarly  disliked  the  descrip- 
tion which  Lord  Beaconsfield  gave  of  him  in  Lotliair, 
and,  on  the  principle  of  Ce  n'est  que  la  verite  qui  hlesse, 
it  may  be  worth  while  to  recall  it:  "The  Bishop  was 
particularly  playful  on  the  morrow  at  breakfast.  Though 
his  face  beamed  with  Christian  kindness,  there  was  a 
twinkle  in  his  eye  which  seemed  not  entirely  superior  to 

159 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

mundane  self-complacency,  even  to  a  sense  of  earthly 
merriment.  His  seraphic  raillery  elicited  sympathetic 
applause  from  the  ladies,  especially  from  the  daughters 
of  the  house,  who  laughed  occasionally,  even  before  his 
angelic  jokes  were  well  launched." 

Mr.  Bright  once  said,  with  characteristic  downright- 
ness,  ''If  I  was  paid  what  a  bishop  is  paid  for  doing 
what  a  bishop  does,  I  should  find  abundant  cause  for 
merriment  in  the  credulity  of  my  countrymen";  and, 
waiving  the  theological  animus  which  the  saying  implies, 
it  is  not  uncharitable  to  surmise  that  a  general  sense  of 
prosperity,  and  a  strong  faculty  of  enjoying  life  in  all  its 
aspects  and  phases,  had  much  to  do  with  Bishop  Wil- 
berforce's  exuberant  and  infectious  jollity.  "A  truly 
emotional  spirit,"  wrote  Matthew  Arnold,  after  meeting 
him  in  a  country  house,  "he  undoubtedly  has  beneath 
his  outside  of  society-haunting  and  men-pleasing,  and 
each  of  the  two  lives  he  leads  gives  him  the  more  zest 
for  the  other." 

A  scarcely  less  prominent  figure  in  society  than  Bishop 
Wilberforce,  and  to  many  people  a  much  more  attractive 
one,  was  Dean  Stanley.  A  clergyman  to  whom  the  Queen 
signed  herself  ''Ever  yours  affectionately"  must  cer- 
tainly be  regarded  as  the  social  head  of  his  profession, 
and  every  circumstance  of  Stanley's  nature  and  ante- 
cedents exactly  fitted  him  for  the  part.  He  was  in  truth 
a  spoiled  child  of  fortune,  in  a  sense  more  refined  and 
spiritual  than  the  phrase  generally  conveys.  Born  of 
famous  ancestry,  in  a  bright  and  unworldly  home  ;  early 
filled  with  the  moral  and  intellectual  enthusiasms  of 
Rugby  in  its  best  days ;  steeped  in  the  characteristic 
culture  of  Oxford,  and  advancing,  by  easy  stages  of  well- 
deserved  promotion,  to  the  most  delightful  of  all  offices 
in  the  Church  of  England,  his  inward  nature  accorded 
well  with  this  happy  environment.     It  was  in  a  singular 

160 


CLERGYMEN 

degree  pure,  simple,  refined,  ingenuous.  All  the  grosser 
and  harsher  elements  of  human  character  seemed  to  have 
been  omitted  from  his  composition.  He  was  naturally 
good,  naturally  graceful,  naturally  amiable.  A  sense  of 
humor  was,  I  think,  almost  the  only  intellectual  gift 
with  which  he  was  not  endowed.  Lord  Beaconsfield 
spoke  of  his  "  picturesque  sensibility,"  and  the  phrase 
was  happily  chosen.  He  had  the  keenest  sympathy  with 
whatever  was  graceful  in  literature ;  a  style  full  of  flexi- 
bility and  color ;  a  rare  faculty  of  graphic  description ; 
and  all-glorified  by  something  of  the  poet's  imagination. 
His  conversation  was  incessant,  teeming  with  informa- 
tion, and  illustrated  by  familiar  acquaintance  with  all 
the  best  that  has  been  thought  and  said  in  the  world. 

Never  was  a  brighter  intellect  or  a  more  gallant  heart 
housed  in  a  more  fragile  form.  His  figure,  features, 
bearing,  and  accent  were  the  very  type  of  refinement ; 
and  as  the  spare  figure,  so  short  yet  so  full  of  dignity, 
marked  out  by  the  decanal  dress  and  the  red  ribbon  of 
the  Order  of  the  Bath,  threaded  its  way  through  the 
crowded  saloons  of  London  society,  one  felt  that  the 
Church,  as  a  civilizing  institution,  could  not  be  more 
appropriately  represented, 

A  lady  who  had  been  brought  up  as  a  Presbyterian, 
but  had  conformed  to  Anglicanism,  once  said  to  the  pres- 
ent writer  :  "I  dislike  the  Episcopal  Church  as  much  as 
ever,  but  I  love  the  Decanal  Church."  Her  warmest  ad- 
miration was  reserved  for  that  particular  Dean,  supreme 
alike  in  station  and  in  charm,  whom  I  have  just  now 
been  describing ;  but  there  were,  at  the  time  of  speak- 
ing, several  other  members  of  the  same  order  who  were 
conspicuous  ornaments  of  the  society  in  which  they 
moved.  There  was  Dr.  Elliot,  Dean  of  Bristol,  a  yearly 
visitor  to  London ;  handsome,  clever,  agreeable,  highly 
connected  ;  an  administrator,  a  politician,  an  admirable 
L  161 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

talker,  and  so  little  trammelled  by  any  ecclesiastical 
prejudices  or  habitudes  that  he  might  have  been  the 
original  of  Dr.  Stanhope  in  Barchester  Towers.  There 
was  Dr.  Liddell,  Dean  of  Christ  Church,  whose  period- 
ical appearances  at  Court  and  in  society  displayed  to  the 
admiring  gaze  of  the  world  the  very  handsomest  and 
stateliest  specimen  of  the  old  English  gentleman  that  our 
time  has  produced.  There  was  Dr.  Church,  Dean  of  St. 
Paul's,  by  many  competent  judges  pronounced  to  be  our 
most  accomplished  man  of  letters,  yet  so  modest  and  so 
retiring  that  the  world  was  never  suffered  to  come  in 
contact  with  him  except  through  his  books.  And  there 
was  Dr.  Vaughan,  Dean  of  Llandaff,  who  concealed  un- 
der the  blandest  of  manners  a  remorseless  sarcasm  and  a 
mordant  wit,  and  who  never  returned  from  the  compar- 
ative publicity  of  the  Athenaeum  to  the  domestic  shades 
of  the  Temple  without  leaving  behind  him  some  pungent 
sentence  which  travelled  from  mouth  to  mouth,  and 
spared  neither  age  nor  sex  nor  friendship  nor  affinity. 

The  very  highest  dignitaries  of  the  Church  in  London 
have  never,  in  my  experience,  contributed  very  largely 
to  its  social  life.  The  garden-parties  of  Fulham  and 
Lambeth  are,  indeed,  recognized  incidents  of  the  London 
season  ;  but  they  present  to  the  critical  eye  less  the  as- 
pect of  a  social  gathering  than  that  of  a  Church  Congress 
combined  with  a  Mothers'  Meeting.  The  overwhelm- 
ing disparity  between  the  position  of  host  and  guests 
is  painfully  apparent,  and  that  "drop-down-dead-ative- 
ness"  of  manner  which  Sydney  Smith  quizzed  still  char- 
acterizes the  demeanor  of  the  unbeneficed  clergy.  Arch- 
bishop Tait,  whose  natural  stateliness  of  aspect  and 
manner  was  one  of  the  most  conspicuous  qualifications 
for  his  great  office,  was  a  dignified  and  hospitable  host ; 
and  Archbishop  Thomson,  reinforced  by  a  beautiful  and 
charming  wife,  was  sometimes  spoken  of  as  the  Arch- 

163 


CLERGYMEN 

bishop  of  Society.  Archbishop  Benson  looked  the  part 
to  perfection,  but  did  not  take  much  share  in  general 
conversation,  though  I  remember  one  terse  saying  of  his 
in  which  the  odium  theologicum  supplied  the  place  of 
wit.  A  portrait  of  Cardinal  Manning  was  exhibited  at 
the  Koyal  Academy,  and  I  remarked  to  the  Archbishop 
on  the  extraordinary  picturesqueness  of  the  Cardinal's 
appearance.  "  The  dress  is  very  effective,"  replied  the 
Archbishop,  dryly,  "but  I  don't  think  there  is  much  be- 
sides." "  Oh,  surely  it  is  a  fine  head  ?"  "  No,  not  a 
fine  head  ;  only  7io  face." 

Passing  down  through  the  ranks  of  the  hierarchy,  I 
shall  presently  have  something  to  say  about  two  or  three 
metropolitan  Canons  who  are  notable  figures  in  society ; 
but  before  I  come  to  them  I  must  offer  a  word  of  affec- 
tionate tribute  to  the  memory  of  Dr.  Liddon.  Probably 
there  never  was  a  man  whose  social  habit  and  manner 
were  less  like  what  a  mere  outsider  would  have  inferred 
from  his  physical  aspect  and  public  demeanor.  Nature 
had  given  him  the  outward  semblance  of  a  foreigner  and 
an  ascetic  ;  a  lifelong  study  of  ecclesiastical  rhetoric  had 
stamped  him  with  a  mannerism  which  belongs  peculiar- 
ly to  the  pulpit.  But  the  true  inwardness  of  the  man 
was  that  of  the  typical  John  Bull — hearty,  natural,  full 
of  humor,  utterly  free  from  self-consciousness.  He  had 
a  healthy  appetite,  and  was  not  ashamed  to  gratify  it ; 
liked  a  good  glass  of  wine ;  was  peculiarly  fond  of  so- 
ciable company,  whether  as  host  or  guest ;  and  told  an 
amusing  story  with  incomparable  zest  and  point.  His 
verbal  felicity  was  a  marked  feature  of  his  conversation. 
His  description  of  Archbishop  Benson  (revived,  with 
strange  taste,  by  the  Saturday  Revieio  on  the  occasion 
of  the  Archbishop's  death)  was  a  masterpiece  of  sarcas- 
tic character-drawing.  The  judicious  Bishop  Davidson 
and  the  accomplished  Canon  Mason  were  the  subjects 

163 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

of  similar  pleasantries ;  and  there  was  substantial  truth 
as  well  as  genuine  fun  in  his  letter  to  a  friend  written 
one  dark  Christmas  from  Amen  Court :  "  London  is  just 
now  buried  under  a  dense  fog.  This  is  commonly  attrib- 
uted to  Dr.  Westcott  having  opened  his  study-window  at 
Westminster." 


XVIII 

CLERGYMEN 

Of  the  "Merriment  of  Parsons"  one  of  the  most  con- 
spicuous instances  was  to  be  found  in  the  Rev.  W.  H. 
Brookfield,  the  "little  Frank  Whitestock  "  of  Thackeray's 
Curate's  Walk,  and  the  subject  of  Lord  Tennyson's  char- 
acteristic elegy  : 

"  Brooks,  for  they  call'd  you  so  that  knew  you  best — 
Old  Brooks,  who  loved  so  well  to  mouth  my  rhymes, 
How  oft  we  two  have  heard  St.  Mary's  chimes  ! 
How  oft  the  Cantab  supper,  host  and  guest, 
"Would  echo  helpless  laughter  to  your  jest ! 


"  You  man  of  humorous-melancholy  mark 
Dead  of  some  inward  agony — is  it  so  ? 
Our  kindlier,  trustier  Jaques,  past  away! 
I  cannot  laud  this  life,  it  looks  so  dark : 
Skcoc  bvap — dream  of  a  shadow,  go — 
God  bless  you.     I  shall  join  you  in  a  day." 

This  tribute  is  as  true  in  substance  as  it  is  striking  in 
phrase.  I  have  noticed  the  same  peculiarity  about  Mr. 
Brookfield's  humor  as  about  Jenny  Lind's  singing.  Those 
who  had  once  heard  it  were  always  eager  to  talk  about  it. 
Ask  some  elderly  man  about  the  early  triumphs  of  the 
Swedish  Nightingale^  and  notice  how  he  kindles.  "Ah  ! 
Jenny  Lind  !  Yes,  there  was  never  anything  like  that  !" 
And  he  begins  about  the  Figlia,  and  how  she  came  along 
the  bridge  in  the  Sonnambula  ;  and  you  feel  the  tender- 

165 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

ness  in  his  voice,  as  of  a  positive  love  for  her  whose  voice 
seems  still  ringing  throiigh  him  as  he  talks.  I  have  no- 
ticed exactly  the  same  phenomenon  when  people  who 
knew  Mr.  Brookfield  hear  his  name  mentioned  in  casual 
conversation.  "  Ah  !  Brookfield  !  Yes  ;  there  never  was 
any  one  quite  like  him  !"  And  off  they  go,  with  visible 
pleasure  and  genuine  emotion,  to  describe  the  inimitable 
charm,  the  touch  of  genius  which  brought  humorous  de- 
light out  of  the  commonest  incidents,  the  tinge  of  brood- 
ing melancholy  which  threw  the  flashing  fun  into  such 
high  relief. 

Not  soon  will  fade  from  the  memory  of  any  who  ever 
heard  it  the  history  of  the  examination  at  the  ladies' 
school,  where  Brookfield,  who  had  thought  that  he  was 
only  expected  to  examine  in  languages  and  literature, 
found  himself  required  to  set  a  paper  in  physical  science. 
"  What  was  I  to  do  ?  I  know  nothing  about  hydrogen 
or  oxygen  or  any  other  '  gQ^\.'  So  I  set  them  a  paper  in 
common-sense,  or  what  I  called  '  Applied  Science.'  One 
of  my  questions  was,  '■  "What  would  you  do  to  cure  a  cold 
in  the  head  ?'  One  young  lady  answered,  '  I  should  put 
my  feet  in  hot  mustard  and  water  till  you  were  in  a  pro- 
fuse perspiration.'  Another  said,  '  I  should  put  him  to 
bed,  give  him  a  soothing  drink,  and  sit  by  him  till  he 
was  better.'  But,  before  handing  in  her  paper,  she  ran 
her  pen  through  all  the  '  him's '  and  '  he's,'  and  substi- 
tuted 'her 'and  'she.'" 

Mr.  Brookfield  was  during  the  greater  part  of  his  life  a 
hard-working  servant  of  the  public,  and  his  friends  could 
only  obtain  his  delightful  company  in  the  rare  and  scanty 
intervals  of  school-inspecting — a  profession  of  which  not 
even  the  leisure  is  leisurely.  The  type  of  the  French 
abbe,  whose  sacerdotal  avocations  lay  completely  in  the 
background  and  who  could  give  the  best  hours  of  the 
days  and  nights  to  the  pleasures  or  duties  of  society,  was 

166 


CLERGYMEN 

best  represented  in  onr  day  by  the  Rev.  William  Harness 
and  the  Rev.  Henry  White.  Mr.  Harness  was  a  diner- 
out  of  the  first  water ;  an  author  and  a  critic ;  perhaps 
the  best  Shakspearian  scholar  of  his  time ;  and  a  recog- 
nized and  even  dreaded  authority  on  all  matters  con- 
nected only  with  the  art  and  literature  of  the  drama. 
Mr.  White,  burdened  only  with  the  sinecure  chaplaincies 
of  the  Savoy  and  the  House  of  Commons,  took  the  Thea- 
tre as  his  parish,  mediated  with  the  happiest  tact  between 
the  Church  and  the  Stage,  and  pronounced  a  genial  ben- 
ediction over  the  famous  little  suppers  in  Stratton  Street 
at  which  an  enthusiastic  patroness  used  to  entertain  Sir 
Henry  Irving  when  the  public  labors  of  the  Lyceum  were 
ended  for  the  night. 

Canon  Malcolm  MacColl  is  an  abbe  with  a  difference. 
No  one  eats  his  dinner  more  sociably  or  tells  a  story 
more  aptly  ;  no  one  enjoys  good  society  more  keenly  or 
is  more  appreciated  in  it ;  but  he  does  not  make  society 
a  profession.  He  is  conscientiously  devoted  to  the  duties 
of  his  canonry  ;  he  is  an  accomplished  theologian ;  and 
he  is  perhaps  the  most  expert  and  vigorous  pamphleteer 
in  England.  The  Franco-German  War,  the  Athanasian 
Creed,  the  Ritualistic  prosecutions,  the  case  for  Home 
Rule,  and  the  misdeeds  of  the  Sultan,  have  in  turn  pro- 
duced from  his  pen  pamphlets  which  have  rushed  into 
huge  circulations  and  swollen  to  the  dimensions  of  solid 
treatises.  Canon  MacColl  is  genuinely  and  ex  animo  an 
ecclesiastic  ;  but  he  is  a  politician  as  well.  His  inflexible 
integrity  and  fine  sense  of  honor  have  enabled  him  to 
play,  with  credit  to  himself  and  advantage  to  the  public, 
the  rather  risky  part  of  the  Priest  in  Politics.  He  has 
been  trusted  alike  by  Lord  Salisbury  and  by  Mr.  Glad- 
stone ;  has  conducted  negotiations  of  great  pith  and  mo- 
ment ;  and  has  been  behind  the  scenes  of  some  historic 
performances.     Yet  he  has  never  made  an  enemy,  nor 

167 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

betrayed  a  secret,  nor  lowered  the  honor  of  his  sacred 
calling. 

Miss  Mabel  Collins,  in  her  vivid  story  of  The  Star  Sap- 
phire, has  drawn  under  a  very  thin  pseudonym  a  striking 
portrait  of  a  clergyman  who,  with  his  environment,  plays 
a  considerable  part  in  the  social  agreeableness  of  London 
at  the  present  moment.  Is  social  agreeableness  a  hered- 
itary gift  ?  Nowadays,  when  everything,  good  or  bad, 
is  referred  to  heredity,  one  is  inclined  to  say  that  it  must 
be  ;  and  though  no  training  could  supply  the  gift  where 
Nature  had  withheld  it,  yet  a  judicious  education  can 
develop  a  social  faculty  which  ancestry  has  transmitted. 
It  is  recorded,  I  think,  of  Madame  de  Stael,  that,  after 
her  first  conversation  with  William  Wilberforce,  she 
said  :  "  I  have  always  heard  that  Mr.  Wilberforce  was 
the  most  religious  man  in  England,  but  I  did  not  know 
that  he  was  also  the  wittiest."  The  agreeableness  of  the 
great  j)hilanthropist's  son — William  Wilberforce,  Bishop 
of  Oxford  and  of  Winchester — I  discussed  in  my  last 
paper.  We  may  put  aside  the  fulsome  dithyrambics 
of  grateful  archdeacons  and  promoted  chaplains,  and  be 
content  to  rest  the  Bishop's  reputation  for  agreeableness 
on  testimony  so  little  interested  as  that  of  Matthew 
Arnold  and  Archbishop  Tait.  The  Archbishop  wrote, 
after  the  Bishop's  death,  of  his  "  social  and  irresistibly 
fascinating  side,  as  displayed  in  his  dealings  with  so- 
ciety " ;  and  in  1864  Mr.  Arnold,  after  listening  with 
only  very  moderate  admiration  to  one  of  the  Bishop's 
celebrated  sermons,  wrote :  "Where  he  was  excellent  was 
in  his  speeches  at  luncheon  afterwards — gay,  easy,  cordial, 
and  wonderfully  happy." 

I  think  that  one  gathers  from  all  dispassionate  ob- 
servers of  the  Bishop  that  what  struck  them  most  in 
him  was  the  blending  of  boisterous  fun  and  animal 
spirits  with  a  deep  and  abiding  sense  of  the  seriousness 

168 


CLERGYMEN 

of  religion.  In  the  philanthropist -father  the  religions 
seriousness  rather  preponderated  over  the  fun  ;  in  the 
Bishop  -  son  (by  a  curious  inversion  of  parts)  the  fun 
sometimes  concealed  the  religiousness.  To  those  who 
speculate  in  race  and  pedigree  and  transmitted  qualities 
it  is  interesting  to  watch  the  two  elements  contending  in 
the  character  of  Canon  Basil  Wilberforce,  the  Bishop's 
youngest  and  best-beloved  son.  When  you  see  his  grace- 
ful figure  and  clean-shaved  ecclesiastical  face  in  the  pul- 
pit of  his  strangely  old-fashioned  church,  or  catch  the 
vibrating  notes  of  his  beautifully  modulated  voice  in 

"The  hush  of  the  dread  high-altar, 
Where  the  Abbey  makes  us  We," 

you  feel  yourself  in  the  presence  of  a  born  ecclesiastic, 
called  from  his  cradle  by  an  irresistible  vocation  to  a 
separate  and  sanctified  career. 

When  you  see  him  on  the  platform  of  some  great  pub- 
lic meeting,  pouring  forth  argument,  appeal,  sarcasm, 
anecdote,  fun,  and  pathos  in  a  never-ceasing  flood  of  ad- 
mirably chosen  English,  yon  feel  that  you  are  under  the 
spell  of  a  born  orator,  who 

"Now  stirs  the  uproar,  now  the  murmur  stills, 
While  sobs  and  laughter  answer  as  he  wills." 

And  yet  again,  when  you  see  the  priest  of  Sunday,  the 
orator  of  Monday,  presiding  on  Tuesday  with  easy  yet 
finished  courtesy  at  the  hospitable  table  of  the  most 
beautiful  dining  -  room  in  London,  or  welcomed  with 
equal  warmth  for  his  racy  humor  and  his  unfailing 
sympathy  in  the  homes  of  his  countless  friends,  you  feel 
that  here  is  a  man  naturally  framed  for  society,  in  whom 
his  father  and  grandfather  live  again.  Truly  a  combina- 
tion of  hereditary  gifts  is  displayed  in  Canon  Wilber- 

169 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

force ;  and  the  social  agreeableness  of  London  received 
a  notable  addition  when  Mr.  Gladstone  transferred  him 
from  Southampton  to  Dean's  Yard. 

Of  agreeable  Canons  there  is  no  end,  and  the  Chapter 
of  Westminster  is  peculiarly  rich  in  them.  Mr.  Gore's 
ascetic  saintliness  of  life  conceals  from  the  general  world, 
but  not  from  the  privileged  circle  of  his  intimate  friends, 
the  high  breeding  of  a  great  Whig  family  and  the  philoso- 
phy of  Balliol.  Archdeacon  Furse  has  the  refined  scholar- 
ship and  delicate  literary  sense  which  characterized  Eton 
in  its  days  of  glory.  Dr.  Duckworth's  handsome  pres- 
ence has  long  been  welcomed  in  the  very  highest  of  all 
social  circles.  Mr.  Eyton's  massive  bulk  and  warm  heart, 
and  rugged  humor  and  sturdy  common -sense,  produce 
the  efEect  of  a  clerical  Dr.  Johnson.  But  perhaps  we 
must  turn  our  backs  on  the  Abbey  and  pursue  our  walk 
along  the  Thames  Embankment  as  far  as  St.  Paul's  if 
we  want  to  discover  the  very  finest  flower  of  canonical 
culture  and  charm,  for  it  blushes  unseen  in  the  shady  re- 
cesses of  Amen  Court.  Henry  Scott  Holland,  Canon  of 
St.  Paul's,  is  beyond  all  question  one  of  the  most  agree- 
able men  of  his  time.  In  fun  and  geniality  and  warm- 
hearted hospitality  he  is  a  worthy  successor  of  Sydney 
Smith,  whose  oflBcial  house  he  inhabits ;  and  to  those 
elements  of  agreeableness  he  adds  certain  others  which 
his  admirable  predecessor  could  scarcely  have  claimed. 
He  has  all  the  sensitiveness  of  genius,  with  its  sympathy, 
its  versatility,  its  unexpected  turns,  its  rapid  transitions 
from  grave  to  gay,  its  vivid  appreciation  of  all  that  is 
beautiful  in  art  and  nature,  literature  and  life.  His 
temperament  is  essentially  musical,  and  indeed  it  was 
from  him  that  I  borrowed,  in  a  former  paragraph,  my 
description  of  Jenny  Lind  and  her  effect  on  her  hearers. 
No  man  in  London,  I  should  think,  has  so  many  and 
such  devoted  friends  in  every  class  and  stratum ;   and 

170 


CLERGYMEN 

those  friends  acknowledge  in  him  not  only  the  most 
vivacious  and  exhilarating  of  social  companions,  but  one 
of  the  moral  forces  which  have  done  most  to  quicken 
their  consciences  and  lift  their  lives. 

Before  I  have  done  with  the  agreeableness  of  clergymen 
I  must  say  a  word  about  two  academical  personages,  of 
whom  it  was  not  always  easy  to  remember  that  they  were 
clergymen,  and  whose  agreeableness  struck  one  in  differ- 
ent lights,  according  as  one  happened  to  be  the  victim  or 
the  witness  of  their  jocosity.  If  any  one  wishes  to  know 
what  the  late  Master  of  Balliol  was  really  like  in  his  social 
aspect,  I  should  refer  him,  not  to  the  two  volumes  of  the 
conscientious  Biography  which  we  have  just  been  reading, 
nor  even  to  the  amusing  chit-chat  of  Mr.  Lionel  Tolle- 
mache's  recollections,  but  to  the  cleverest  work  of  a  very 
clever  Balliol  man — Mr.  W.  H.  Mallock's  New  Repuhlic. 
The  description  of  Mr.  Jowett's  appearance,  conversation, 
and  social  bearing  is  photographic,  and  the  sermon  which 
Mr.  Mallock  puts  into  his  mouth  is  not  a  parody,  but  an 
absolutely  faultless  reproduction  both  of  substance  and 
of  style.  That  it  excessively  irritated  the  subject  of  the 
sketch  is  the  best  proof  of  its  accuracy.  For  my  own 
part,  I  must  freely  admit  that  I  do  not  write  as  an  ad- 
mirer of  Mr.  Jowett ;  but  one  saying  of  his,  which  I  had 
the  advantage  of  hearing,  does  much  to  atone,  in  my 
judgment,  for  the  snappish  impertinences  on  which  his 
reputation  for  wit  has  been  generally  based.  The  scene  was 
the  Master's  own  dining-room,  and  the  moment  that  the 
ladies  had  left  the  room  one  of  the  guests  began  a  most  out- 
rageous conversation.  Every  one  sat  flabbergasted.  The 
Master  winced  with  annoyance  ;  and  then,  bending  down 
the  table  towards  the  offender,  said  in  his  shrillest  tone  : 
'*  Shall  we  continue  this  conversation  in  the  drawing- 
room  ?"  and  rose  from  his  chair.  It  was  really  a  stroke 
of  genius  thus  both  to  terminate  and  to  rebuke  the  im- 

171 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

propriety  without  violating  the  decorum  due  from  host 
to  guest. 

Of  the  late  Master  of  Trinity — Dr.  Thompson — it  was 
said  :  "  He  casteth  forth  his  ice  like  morsels.  Who  is  able 
to  abide  his  frost  ?"  The  stories  of  his  mordant  wit  are 
endless,  but  an  Oxford  man  can  scarcely  hope  to  narrate 
them  with  proper  accuracy.  He  was  nothing  if  not  crit- 
ical. At  Seeley's  Inaugural  Lecture  as  Professor  of  His- 
tory his  only  remark  was  :  "  Well,  well.  I  did  not  think 
we  could  so  soon  have  had  occasion  to  regret  poor  Kings- 
ley."  To  a  gushing  admirer  who  said  that  a  certain  pop- 
ular preacher  had  so  much  taste  :  "  Oh,  yes ;  so  very 
much,  and  all  so  very  bad."  Of  a  certain  Dr.  Woods, 
who  wrote  elementary  mathematical  books  for  school- 
boys, and  whose  statue  occupies  the  most  conspicuous 
position  in  the  ante- chapel  of  St.  John's  College  :  "  The 
Johnian  Newton."  His  hit  at  the  present  Chief  Secre- 
tary for  Ireland,  when  he  was  a  junior  Fellow  of  Trinity, 
is  classical :  "  We  are  none  of  us  infallible — not  even  the 
youngest  of  us."  But  it  requires  an  eye-witness  of  the 
scene  to  do  justice  to  the  exordium  of  the  Master's  ser- 
mon on  the  Parable  of  the  Talents,  addressed  in  Trinity 
Chapel  to  what  considers  itself,  and  not  without  justice, 
the  cleverest  congregation  in  the  world  :  "  It  would  be 
obviously  superfluous  in  a  congregation  such  as  that 
which  I  now  address  to  expatiate  on  the  responsibilities 
of  those  who  have  five,  or  even  two,  talents.  I  shall, 
therefore,  confine  my  observations  to  the  more  ordinary 
case  of  those  of  us  who  have  one  talent." 


XIX 

REPARTEE 

Lord  Beaconsfield,  describing  Monsignore  Berwick 
in  Lothair,  says  that  he  "  conld  always,  when  necessary, 
sparkle  with  anecdote  or  blaze  with  repartee."  The 
former  performance  is  considerably  easier  than  the  latter. 
Indeed,  when  a  man  has  a  varied  experience,  a  retentive 
memory,  and  a  sufficient  copiousness  of  speech,  the  facil- 
ity of  story-telling  may  attain  the  character  of  a  disease. 
The  "sparkle"  evaporates,  but  the  ''anecdote"  is  left; 
and  we  feel  inclined  to  agree  with  another  Beaconsfield- 
ian  creation — Mr.  Pinto — who  remarked  that  "when  a 
man  fell  into  his  anecdotage  it  was  a  sign  for  him  to  re- 
tire from  the  world."  But  though  anecdotes  may  become 
tedious,  a  repartee  is  always  delightful ;  and,  while  by  no 
means  inclined  to  admit  the  general  inferiority  of  con- 
temporary conversation  to  that  of  the  last  generation,  I 
am  disposed  to  think  that  in  the  art  of  repartee  our  pred- 
ecessors excelled  us. 

If  this  is  true,  it  may  be  partly  due  to  the  greater  free- 
dom of  an  age  when  well-bred  men  and  refined  women 
spoke  their  minds  with  an  uncompromising  plainness 
which  would  now  be  voted  intolerable.  I  have  said  that 
the  old  Koyal  Dukes  were  distinguished  by  the  racy  vigor 
of  their  conversation  ;  and  the  Duke  of  Cumberland,  af- 
terwards King  Ernest  of  Hanover,  was  held  to  excel  all 
his  brothers  in  this  respect.  I  was  told  by  the  late  Sir 
Charles  Wyke  that  he  was  once  walking  with  the  Duke 

173 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

of  Cnmberland  along  Piccadilly  when  the  Duke  of 
Gloucester  (first  cousin  to  Cumberland,  and  familiarly 
known  as  "Silly  Billy")  came  out  of  Gloucester  House. 
"  Duke  of  Gloucester,  Duke  of  Gloucester,  stop  a  minute. 
I  want  to  speak  to  you,"  roared  the  Duke  of  Cumberland. 
Poor  Silly  Billy,  whom  nobody  ever  noticed,  was  delight- 
ed to  find  himself  thus  accosted,  and  ambled  up  smiling. 
"  Who's  your  tailor  ?"  shouted  Cumberland.  "  Stultz," 
replied  Gloucester.  "  Thank  you.  I  only  wanted  to 
know,  because,  whoever  he  is,  he  ought  to  be  avoided  like 
the  pestilence."    Exit  Silly  Billy. 

Of  this  inoffensive  but  not  brilliant  prince  (who,  by  the 
way,  was  Chancellor  of  the  University  of  Cambridge)  it 
is  related  that  once  at  a  levee  he  noticed  a  naval  friend 
with  a  much-tanned  face.  "  How  do,  admiral  ?  Glad  to 
see  you  again.  It's  a  long  time  since  you  have  been  at  a 
levee."  "Yes,  sir.  Since  I  last  saw  your  Koyal  High- 
ness I  have  been  nearly  to  the  North  Pole."  "'  By  God, 
you  look  more  as  if  you  had  been  to  the  South  Pole."  It 
is  but  bare  justice  to  his  depreciated  memory  to  observe 
that  the  Duke  of  Gloucester  scored  a  point  against  his 
kingly  cousin  when,  on  hearing  that  William  IV.  had 
consented  to  the  Reform  Bill,  he  ejaculated,  "  Who's  Sil- 
ly Billy  now  ?"     But  this  is  a  digression. 

Early  in  this  century  a  famous  lady,  whose  name,  for 
obvious  reasons,  I  forbear  to  indicate  even  by  an  initial, 
had  inherited  great  wealth  under  a  will  which,  to  put  it 
mildly,  occasioned  much  surprise.  She  shared  an  opera- 
box  with  a  certain  Lady  D ,  who  loved  the  flowing 

wine-cup  not  wisely  but  too  well.    One  night  Lady  D 

was  visibly  intoxicated  at  the  opera,  and  her  friend  told 
her  that  the  partnership  in  the  box  must  cease,  as  she 
could  not  appear  again  in  company  so  disgraceful.     "As 

you  please,"  said  Lady  D .     "  I  may  have  had  a  glass 

of  wine  too  much ;  but  at  any  rate  I  never  forged  my 

174 


REPARTEE 

father's  signature,  and  then  murdered  the  butler  to  pie- 
vent  his  telling/' 

Beau  Brummell,  the  Prince  of  Dandies  and  the  most 
insolent  of  men,  was  once  asked  by  a  lady  if  he  would 
'*  take  a  cup  of  tea."  "  Thank  you,  ma'am,"  he  replied, 
*'I  never  tahe  anything  but  physic."  "1  beg  your  par- 
don," replied  the  hostess,  ''you  also  take  liberties." 

The  Duchess  of  Somerset,  born  Sheridan,  and  famous 
as  the  Queen  of  Beauty  at  the  Eglinton  Tournament  of 
1839,  was  pre-eminent  in  this  agreeable  art  of  swift  re- 
sponse. One  day  she  called  at  a  shop  to  inquire  for  some 
article  which  she  had  purchased  the  day  before,  and 
which  had  not  been  sent  home.  The  order  could  not  be 
traced.  The  proprietor  of  the  establishment  inquired, 
with  great  concern  :  "  May  I  ask  who  took  your  Grace's 
order  ?  Was  it  a  young  gentleman  with  fair  hair  ?" 
"No  ;  it  was  an  elderly  nobleman  with  a  bald  head." 

Lady  W R ,  an  Englishwoman  who  had  spent 

her  life  in  diplomatic  society  abroad  and  in  old  age  held 
a  "salon"  in  Loudon,  was  talking  during  the  Franco- 
German  War  of  1870  to  the  French  Ambassador,  who 
complained  bitterly  that  England  had  not  intervened  on 
behalf  of  France.  "But,  after  all,"  he  said,  "it  was  only 
what  we  might  have  expected.  We  always  believed  that 
you  were  a  nation  of  shopkeepers,  and  now  we  know  you 

are."     "And  we,"  replied  Lady  W R ,  "always 

believed  that  you  were  a  nation  of  soldiers,  and  now  we 
know  you  are  not" — a  repartee  worthy  to  rank  with 
Queen  Mary's  reply  to  Lady  Lochleven  about  the  sacra- 
mental character  of  marriage,  in  the  third  volume  of  The 
Abiot. 

A  young  lady,  who  had  just  been  appointed  a  Maid  of 
Honor,  was  telling  some  friends  with  whom  she  was  din- 
ing that  one  of  the  conditions  of  the  office  was  that  she 
should  not  keep  a  diary  of  what  went  on  at  Court.     A 

175 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

cynical  man  of  the  world  who  was  present  said  :  "  What 
a  tiresome  rule  !  I  think  I  should  keep  my  diary  all  the 
same."  "Then,"  replied  the  young  lady.  "I  am  afraid 
you  would  not  be  a  Maid  of  Honor." 

In  the  famous  society  of  old  Holland  House  a  conspic- 
uous and  interesting  figure  was  Henry  Luttrell.  It  was 
known  that  he  must  be  getting  on  in  life,  for  he  had  sat 
in  the  Irish  Parliament,  but  his  precise  age  no  one  knew. 
At  length  Lady  Holland,  whose  curiosity  was  restrained 
by  no  considerations  of  courtesy,  asked  him  point-blank  : 
"  Now,  Luttrell,  we're  all  dying  to  know  how  old  you 
are.  Just  tell  me."  Eyeing  his  questioner  gravely,  Lut- 
trell made  answer :  "  It  is  an  odd  question  ;  but  as  you. 
Lady  Holland,  ask  it,  I  don't  mind  telling  you.  If  I  liye 
till  next  year,  I  shall  be — devilish  old." 

For  the  mutual  amenities  of  Melbourne  and  Alvanley 
and  Rogers  and  Allen,  for  Lord  Holland's  genial  humor, 
and  for  Lady  Holland's  indiscriminate  insolence,  we  can 
refer  to  Lord  Macaulay's  Life  and  Charles  Greville's  Jour- 
nals, and  the  enormous  mass  of  contemporary  memoirs. 
Most  of  these  verbal  encounters  were  fought,  with  all  im- 
aginable good  humor,  over  some  social  or  literary  topic ; 
but  now  and  then,  when  political  passion  was  really 
roused,  they  took  a  fiercely  personal  tone. 

Let  one  instance  of  elaborate  invective  suffice.  Sir 
James  Mackintosh,  who,  as  the  writer  of  the  Vindiciae  Gal- 
licae,  had  been  the  foremost  apologist  for  the  French  Rev- 
olution, fell  later  under  the  influence  of  Bnrke,  and  pro- 
claimed the  most  unmeasured  hostility  to  the  Revolution 
and  its  authors,  their  works  and  ways.  Having  thus  be- 
come a  vehement  champion  of  law  and  order,  he  exclaim- 
ed one  day  that  O'Coighley,  the  priest  who  negotiated 
between  the  Revolutionary  parties  in  Ireland  and  France, 
was  the  basest  of  mankind.  ''No,  Mackintosh,"  replied 
that  sound  though  pedantic  old  Whig,  Dr.  Parr  ;  "he 

176 


REPARTEE 

might  have  been  much  worse.  He  was  an  Irishman  ;  he 
might  have  been  a  Scotsman.  He  was  a  priest ;  he  might 
have  been  a  lawyer.  He  was  a  rebel  ;  he  might  have 
been  a  renegade." 

These  severe  forms  of  elaborate  sarcasm  belong,  I 
think,  to  a  past  age.  Lord  Beaconsfield  was  the  last  man 
who  indulged  in  them.  When  the  Greville  Memoirs — 
that  mine  of  social  information  in  which  I  have  so  often 
quarried — came  out,  some  one  asked  Mr.  Disraeli,  as  he 
then  was,  if  he  had  read  them.  He  replied  :  '*  No,  I  do 
not  feel  attracted  to  them.  I  knew  the  author,  and  he 
was  the  most  conceited  person  with  whom  I  have  ever 
been  brought  in  contact,  although  I  have  read  Cicero  and 
known  Bulwer  Lytton."  This  three-edged  compliment 
has  seldom  been  excelled.  In  a  lighter  style,  and  more 
accordant  with  feminine  grace,  was  Lady  Morley's  com- 
ment on  the  decaying  charms  of  her  famous  rival,  Lady 
Jersey — the  Zenobia  of  Endymion — of  whom  some  gush- 
ing admirer  had  said  that  she  looked  so  splendid  going 
to  Court  in  her  mourning  array  of  black  and  diamonds — 
"it  was  like  night."  "  Yes,  my  dear,  hnt minuit 2Jcisse." 
A  masculine  analogue  to  this  amiable  compliment  may 
be  cited  from  the  table-talk  of  Lord  Granville — certainly 
not  an  unkindly  man — to  whom  the  late  Mr.  Delane  had 
been  complaining  of  the  difficulty  of  finding  a  suitable 
wedding-present  for  a  young  lady  of  the  house  of  Roths- 
child. "  It  would  be  absurd  to  give  a  Rothschild  a  costly 
gift.  I  should  like  to  find  something  not  intrinsically 
valuable,  but  interesting  because  it  is  rare."  "Nothing 
easier,  my  dear  fellow  ;  send  her  a  lock  of  your  hair." 

When  the  J)^eio  Review  was  started,  its  accomplished 
editor  designed  it  to  be  an  inexpensive  copy  of  the  Nine- 
teenth Century,  It  was  to  cost  only  sixpence,  and  was  to 
be  written  by  bearers  of  famous  names  —  those  of  the 
British  aristocracy  for  choice.  He  was  complaining  in 
M  177 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

society  of  the  difficulty  of  finding  a  suitable  title,  when  a 
vivacious  lady  said  :  "  We  have  got  Cornhill,  and  Liulgate, 
and  Strand — why  not  call  yours  Cheap-side  f 

Oxford  has  always  been  a  nursing-mother  of  polished 
satirists.  Of  a  small  sprig  of  aristocracy,  who  was  an 
undergraduate  in  my  time,  it  was  said  by  a  friend  that 
he  was  like  Euclid's  definition  of  a  point :  he  had  no 
parts  and  no  magnitude,  but  had  position.  In  previous 
papers  I  have  quoted  the  late  Master  of  Balliol  and  Lord 
Sherbrooke.  Professor  Thorold  Rogers  excelled  in  a 
Shandean  vein.  Lord  Bowen  is  immortalized  by  his 
emendation  to  the  Judges'  address  to  the  Queen,  which 
had  contained  the  Heep-like  sentence  :  "  Conscious  as  we 
are  of  our  own  unworthiness  for  the  great  office  to  which 
we  have  been  called."  ''Wouldn't  it  be  better  to  say, 
'Conscious  as  we  are  of  one  another's  unworthiness'?" 
Henry  Smith,  Professor  of  Geometry,  the  wittiest,  most 
learned,  and  most  genial  of  Irishmen,  said  of  a  well-known 
man  of  science  :  "His  only  fault  is  that  he  sometimes 
mistakes  the  Editor  of  Nature  for  the  Author  of  Nature." 
A  great  lawyer  who  is  now  a  great  judge,  and  has,  with 
good  reason,  the  very  highest  opinion  of  himself,  stood 
as  a  Liberal  at  the  General  Election  of  1880.  His  Tory 
opponents  set  on  foot  a  rumor  that  he  was  an  Atheist, 
and  when  Henry  Smith  heard  it  he  said  :  "Now  that's 
really  too  bad,  for is  a  man  who  reluctantly  acknowl- 
edges the  existence  of  a  Superior  Being." 

At  dinner  at  Balliol  the  Master's  guests  were  dis- 
cussing the  careers  of  two  Balliol  men,  one  of  whom 
had  just  been  made  a  judge  and  the  other  a  bishop. 
"Oh,"  said  Henry  Smith,  "I  think  the  bishop  is  the 
greater  man.  A  judge,  at  the  most,  can  only  say  '  You 
be  hanged,'  but  a  bishop  can  say  'You  be  damned.'" 
"Yes,"  characteristically  twittered  the  Master;  "but  if 
/  the  judge  says  'You  be  hanged,'  3^ou  are  hanged." 

178 


/ 


REPARTEE 

Henry  Smith,  though  a  delightful  companion,  was  a 
very  unsatisfactory  politician — nominally,  indeed,  a  Lib- 
eral, but  full  of  qualifications  and  exceptions.  When 
Mr.  Gathorne  Hardy  was  raised  to  the  peerage  at  the 
crisis  of  the  Eastern  Question  in  1878,  and  thereby  va- 
cated his  seat  for  the  University  of  Oxford,  Henry  Smith 
came  forward  as  a  candidate  in  the  Liberal  interest ;  but 
his  language  about  the  great  controversy  of  the  moment 
was  so  lukewarm  that  Professor  Freeman  said  that,  in- 
stead of  sitting  for  Oxford  in  the  House  of  Commons,  he 
ought  to  represent  Laodicea  in  the  Parliament  of  Asia 
Minor. 

Of  Dr.  Haig-Brown  it  is  reported  that,  being  at  a  pub- 
lic dinner  at  Godalming,  he  was  toasted  by  the  Mayor  as 
a  man  who  knew  how  to  combine  the  fortlter  in  re  with 
the  suavUer  in  modo.  In  replying  to  the  toast  he  said  : 
''I  am  really  overwhelmed,  not  only  by  the  quality,  but 
by  the  quantity  of  the  Mayor's  eulogium." 

It  has  been  a  matter  of  frequent  remark  that,  con- 
sidering what  an  immense  proportion  of  parliamentary 
time  has  been  engrossed  during  the  last  seventeen  years 
by  Irish  speeches,  we  have  heard  so  little  Irish  humor, 
whether  conscious  or  unconscious  —  whether  jokes  or 
"bulls."  An  admirably  vigorous  simile  was  used  by  the 
late  Mr.  O'Sullivan,  when  he  complained  that  the  whiskey 
supplied  at  the  bar  was  like  ''a  torch-light  procession 
marching  down  your  throat";  but  of  Irish  bulls  in  Par- 
liament I  have  only  heard  one — proceeding,  if  my  mem- 
ory serves  me,  from  Mr.  T.  Healy :  "  As  long  as  the 
voice  of  Irish  suffering  is  dumb,  the  ear  of  English  com- 
passion is  deaf  to  it."  One  I  read  in  the  columns  of 
the  Irish  Times :  "  The  key  of  the  Irish  difficulty  is  not 
to  be  found  in  the  empty  pocket  of  the  landlord."  The 
best  I  ever  heard  was  not  an  Irish  but  a  Welsh  bull.  It 
was  uttered  by  one  of  the  members  for  the  Principality 

179 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIOiX  S 

in  the  debate  on  the  Welsh  Church  Bill,  in  indignant 
protest  against  the  allegation  that  the  majority  of  Welsh- 
men now  belonged  to  the  Established  Church.  He  said, 
*'  It  is  a  lie,  sir ;  and  it  is  high  time  that  we  nailed  this 
lie  to  the  mast." 

Among  tellers  of  Irish  stories,  Lord  Morris  is  supreme  ; 
one  of  his  best  depicts  two  Irish  officials  of  the  good  old 
times  discussing,  in  all  the  confidence  of  their  after-din- 
ner claret,  the  principles  on  which  they  bestowed  their 
patronage.  Said  the  first,  "  Well,  I  don't  mind  admitting 
that,  cceter  is  paribus,  I  prefer  my  own  relations."  ''My 
dear  boy,"  replied  his  boon  companion,  "  cceteris  paribus 
be  damned."  The  cleverest  thing  that  I  have  lately 
heard  was  from  a  young  lady,  who  is  an  Irishwoman,  and 
I  hope  that  its  excellence  will  excuse  the  personality.  It 
must  be  premised  that  Lord  Erne  is  a  gentleman  who 
abounds  in  anecdote,  and  that  Lady  Erne  is  an  extremely 
handsome  woman.  Their  irreverent  compatriot  has  nick- 
named them 

"The  storied  Erne  and  animated  bust." 

Frances  Countess  Waldegrave,  who  had  previously 
been  married  three  times,  took  as  her  fourth  husband 
an  Irishman,  Mr.  Chichester  Fortescue,  who  was  shortly 
afterwards  made  Chief  Secretary.  The  first  night  that 
Lady  Waldegrave  and  Mr.  Fortescue  appeared  at  the 
theatre  in  Dublin,  an  irreverent  wag  in  the  gallery  called 
out,  "  Which  of  the  four  do  you  like  best,  my  lady  ?" 
Instantaneous  from  the  Chief  Secretary's  box  came  the 
adroit  reply :  "  Why,  the  Irishman,  of  course  !" 

The  late  Lord  Coleridge  was  once  speaking  in  the 
House  of  Commons  in  support  of  Women's  Rights.  One 
of  his  main  arguments  was  that  there  was  no  essential 
difference  between  the  masculine  and  the  feminine  in- 
tellect.   For  example,  he  said,  some  of  the  most  valuable 

180 


REPARTEE      * 

qualities  of  what  is  called  the  judicial  genius  —  sensi- 
bility, quickness,  delicacy — are  peculiarly  feminine.  In 
reply,  Sergeant  Dowse  said  :  "  The  argument  of  the  hon. 
and  learned  Member,  compendiously  stated,  amounts  to 
this  :  because  some  judges  are  old  women,  therefore  all 
old  women  are  fit  to  be  judges." 

To  my  friend  Mr.  Julian  Sturgis,  himself  one  of  the 
happiest  of  phrase-makers,  I  am  indebted  for  the  follow- 
ing gems  from  America : 

Mr.  Evarts,  formerly  Secretary  of  State,  showed  an 
English  friend  the  place  where  Washington  was  said  to 
have  thrown  a  dollar  across  the  Potomac.  The  Eng- 
lish friend  expressed  surprise;  "but,"  said  Mr.  Evarts, 
"you  must  remember  that  a  dollar  went  farther  in 
those  days."  A  Senator  met  Mr.  Evarts  next  day,  and 
said  that  he  had  been  amused  by  his  jest.  "But," 
said  Mr.  Evarts,  "I  met  a  mere  journalist  just  after- 
wards who  said,  'Oh,  Mr.  Evarts,  you  should  have 
said  that  it  was  a  small  matter  to  throw  a  dollar  across 
the  Potomac  for  a  man  who  had  chucked  a  Sovereign 
across  the  Atlantic' "  Mr.  Evarts,  weary  of  making 
many  jokes,  would  invent  a  journalist  or  other  man  and 
tell  a  story  as  his.  It  was  he  who,  on  a  kindly  busybody 
expressing  surprise  at  his  daring  to  drink  so  many  differ- 
ent wines  at  dinner,  said  that  it  was  only  the  indifferent 
wines  of  which  he  was  afraid. 

It  was  Mr.  Motley  who  said  in  Boston :  "  Give  me  the 
luxuries  of  life,  and  I  care  not  who  has  the  necessaries." 

Mr.  Tom  Appleton,  famous  for  many  witty  sayings 
(among  them  the  well-known  "Good  Americans,  when 
they  die,  go  to  Paris  "),  heard  some  grave  city  fathers 
debating  what  could  be  done  to  mitigate  the  cruel  east 
wind  at  an  exposed  corner  of  a  certain  street  in  Bos- 
ton. He  suggested  that  they  should  tether  a  shorn  lamb 
there. 

181 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

A  witty  Bostonian  going  to  dine  with  a  neighbor  was 

met  by  her  with  a  face  of  apology.     ''I  could  not  get 

another  man,''  she  said  ;  ''and  we  are  four  women,  and 

.  you  will  have  to  take  us  all  into  dinner."  "  Fore-warned 

is  four-armed,"  said  he  with  a  bow. 

This  gentleman  was  in  a  hotel  in  Boston  when  the  law 
forbidding  the  sale  of  liquor  was  in  force.  "What  would 
you  say/'  said  an  angry  Bostonian,  "  if  a  man  from  St. 
Louis,  where  they  have  freedom,  were  to  come  in  and 
ask  yon  where  he  could  get  a  drink  ?"  Now  it  was 
known  that  spirits  could  be  clandestinely  bought  in  a 
room  under  the  roof,  and  the  wit,  pointing  upwards,  re- 
plied, "I  should  say,  'Fils  de  St.  Louis,  montez  an  ciel.'" 

Madame  Apponyi  was  in  London  during  the  debates 
on  the  Reform  Bill  of  1867,  and,  like  all  foreigners  and 
not  a  few  Englishmen,  was  much  perplexed  by  the 
"Compound  Householder,"  who  figured  so  largely  in 
the  discussion.  Hayward  explained  that  he  was  the  Mas- 
culine of  the  Femme  Incomprise. 

One  of  the  best  repartees  ever  made,  because  the  brief- 
est and  the  Justest,  was  made  by  "the  gorgeous  Lady 
Blessington "  to  Napoleon  III.  When  Prince  Louis 
Napoleon  was  living  in  impecunious  exile  in  London  he 
had  been  a  constant  guest  at  Lady  Blessington's  hos- 
pitable and  brilliant  but  Bohemian  house.  And  she, 
when  visiting  Paris  after  the  cou})  d'etat,  naturally  ex- 
pected to  receive  at  the  Tuileries  some  return  for  the  un- 
bounded hospitalities  of  Gore  House.  Weeks  passed,  no 
invitation  arrived,  and  the  Imperial  Court  took  no  notice 
of  Lady  Blessington's  presence.  At  length  she  encoun- 
tered the  Emperor  at  a  great  reception.  As  he  passed 
through  the  bowing  and  curtseying  crowd,  the  Emperor 
caught  sight  of  his  former  hostess.  "  Ah,  Miladi  Bless- 
ington !  Eestez-vous  longtemps  a  Paris  ?"  "  Et  vous, 
Sire  ?'*    History  does  not  record  the  usurper's  reply. 

182 


REPARTEE 

Henry  Philpotts,  Bishop  of  Exeter  from  1830  to  1869, 
lived  at  a  beautiful  villa  near  Torquay,  and  an  enthusi- 
astic lady  who  visited  him  there  burst  into  dithyrambics, 
and  cried,  "  What  a  lovely  spot  this  is.  Bishop  !  It  is  so 
Swiss."  "  Yes,  ma'am,"  blandly  replied  old  Harry  of 
Exeter,  "  it  is  very  Swiss  ;  only  there  is  no  sea  in  Switz- 
erland, and  there  are  no  mountains  here."  One  day  one 
of  his  clergy  desiring  to  renew  a  lease  of  some  episcopal 
property,  the  Bishop  named  a  preposterous  sum  as  the 
fine  on  renewal.  The  poor  parson,  consenting  with  re- 
luctance, said,  ''  Well,  I  suppose  it  is  better  than  endan- 
gering the  lease,  but  certainly  your  lordship  has  got  the 
lion's  share."  "But,  my  dear  sir,  I  am  sure  you  would 
not  wish  me  to  have  that  of  the  other  creature." 

Still,  after  all,  for  a  bishop  to  score  off  a  clergyman  is 
an  inglorious  victory  ;  it  is  like  the  triumph  of  a  magis- 
trate over  a  prisoner  or  of  a  don  over  an  undergradu- 
ate. Bishop  Wilberforce,  whose  powers  of  repartee  were 
among  his  most  conspicuous  gifts,  was  always  ready  to 
use  them  where  retaliation  was  possible— not  in  the  safe 
enclosure  of  the  episcopal  study,  but  on  the  open  battle- 
field of  the  platform  and  the  House  of  Lords.  At  the 
great  meeting  in  St.  James's  Hall  in  the  summer  of 
1868  to  protest  against  the  Disestablishment  of  the  Irish 
Church  some  Orange  enthusiast,  in  the  hope  of  disturb- 
ing the  Bishop,  kept  interrupting  his  honeyed  eloquence 
with  inopportune  shouts  of  "  Speak  up,  my  lord  !"  "  I 
am  already  speaking  up,"  replied  the  Bishop,  in  his  most 
dulcet  tone  ;  ''  I  always  speak  up  ;  and  I  decline  to 
,  speak  down  to  the  level  of  the  ill-mannered  person  in 
the  gallery."  Every  one  whose  memory  runs  back  thirty 
years  will  recall  the  Homeric  encounters  between  the 
Bishop  and  Lord  Chancellor  Westbury  in  the  House  of 
Lords,  and  will  remember  the  melancholy  circumstances 
under  which  Lord  Westbury  had  to  resign  his  ofl&ce. 

183 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

When  he  was  leaving  the  Royal  Closet  after  sarrendering 
the  Great  Seal  into  the  Queen's  hands,  Lord  Westbury 
met  the  Bishop,  who  was  going  in  to  the  Queen.  It  was 
a  painful  encounter,  and  in  reminding  the  Bishop  of  the 
occurrence  when  next  they  met,  Westbury  said,  "  I  felt 
inclined  to  say,  '  Hast  thou  found  me,  0  mine  enemy  ?' " 
The  Bishop  in  relating  this  used  to  say:  "^'I  never  in  my 
life  was  so  tempted  as  to  finish  the  quotation,  and  say, 
'  Yea,  I  have  found  thee,  because  thou  hast  sold  thyself 
to  work  iniquity.'  But  by  a  great  effort  I  kept  it  down, 
and  said,  '  Does  your  lordship  remember  the  end  of  the 
quotation  ?'  "  The  Bishop,  who  enjoyed  a  laugh  against 
himself,  used  to  say  that  he  had  once  been  effectually 
scored  off  by  a  young  clergyman  whom  he  had  rebuked 
for  his  addiction  to  fox  -  hunting.  The  Bishop  urged 
that  it  had  a  worldly  appearance.  The  curate  replied 
that  it  was  not  a  bit  more  worldly  than  a  ball  at  Blen- 
heim Palace  at  which  the  Bishop  had  been  present.  The 
Bishop  explained  that  he  was  staying  in  the  house,  but 
was  never  within  three  rooms  of  the  dancing.  "  Oh,  if 
it  comes  to  that,"  replied  the  curate,  "  I  never  am  with- 
in three  fields  of  the  hounds." 

One  of  the  best  replies — it  is  scarcely  a  repartee — tra- 
ditionally reported  at  Oxford  was  made  by  the  great  Saint 
of  the  Tractarian  Movement,  the  Rev.  Charles  Marriott. 
A  brother-Fellow  of  Oriel  had  behaved  rather  outrage- 
ously at  dinner  over  night,  and,  coming  out  of  chapel 
next  morning,  essayed  to  apologize  to  Marriott :  "  My 
friend,  I'm  afraid  I  made  rather  a  fool  of  myself  last 
night."  "  My  dear  fellow,  I  assure  you  I  observed  noth- 
ing unusual." 

In  a  former  paper  about  the  Art  of  Conversation  I  re- 
ferred to  the  singular  readiness  which  characterized  Lord 
Sherbrooke's  talk.  A  good  instance  of  it  was  his  reply 
to  the  strenuous  advocate  of  modern  studies,  who,  pre- 

184 


REPARTEE 

snming  on  Sherbrooke's  sympathy,  said,  "  I  have  the 
greatest  contempt  for  Aristotle."  "But  not  that  con- 
tempt which  familiarity  breeds,  I  should  imagine,"  was 
Sherbrooke's  mild  rejoinder.  "  I  have  got  a  box  at  the 
Lyceum  to-night,"  I  once  heard  a  lady  say,  "  and  a  place 
to  spare.  Lord  Sherbrooke,  will  you  come  ?  If  you  are 
engaged,  I  must  take  the  Bishop  of  Gibraltar."  "  Oh, 
that's  no  good.     Gibraltar  can  never  be  taken." 

In  1872,  when  University  College,  Oxford,  celebrated 
the  thousandth  anniversary  of  its  foundation.  Lord  Sher- 
brooke, as  an  old  University  College  man,  made  the 
speech  of  the  evening.  His  theme  was  a  complaint  of  the 
iconoclastic  tendency  of  the  New  Historians.  Nothing 
was  safe  from  their  sacrilegious  research.  Every  tradi- 
tion, however  venerable,  however  precious,  was  resolved 
into  a  myth  or  a  fable.  "For  example,"  he  said,  "we 
have  always  believed  that  certain  lands  which  this  col- 
lege owns  in  Berkshire  were  given  to  us  by  King  Alfred. 
Now  the  New  Historians  come  and  tell  us  that  this 
could  not  have  been  the  case,  because  they  can  prove 
that  the  lands  in  question  never  belonged  to  the  King. 
It  seems  to  me  that  the  New  Historians  prove  too  much — 
indeed,  they  prove  the  very  point  which  they  contest. 
If  the  lands  had  belonged  to  the  King,  he  would  prob- 
ably have  kept  them  to  himself ;  but  as  they  belonged  to 
some  one  else,  he  made  a  handsome  present  of  them  to 
the  College." 

Lord  Beaconsfield's  excellence  in  conversation  lay 
rather  in  studied  epigrams  than  in  impromptu  repartees. 
But  in  his  old  electioneering  contests  he  used  sometimes 
to  make  very  happy  hits.  When  he  came  forward,  a 
young,  penniless,  unknown  coxcomb,  to  contest  High 
Wycombe  against  the  dominating  Whiggery  of  the  Greys 
and  the  Carringtons,  some  one  in  the  crowd  shouted, 
"We  know  all  about  Colonel  Grey;  but  pray  what  do 

185 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

^'  you  stand  on  ?"  *'I  stand  on  my  head/'  was  the  prompt 
reply,  to  which  Mr.  Gladstone  always  renders  unstinted 
admiration.  At  Aylesbury  the  Radical  leader  had  been  a 
man  of  notoriously  profligate  life,  and  when  Mr.  Disraeli 
came  to  seek  re-election  as  Tory  Chancellor  of  the  Ex- 
chequer this  tribune  of  the  people  produced  at  the  hust- 
ings the  Radical  manifesto  which  Mr.  Disraeli  had  issued 
twenty  years  before.  "  What  do  you  say  to  that,  sir  ?" 
"  I  say  that  we  all  sow  our  wild  oats,  and  no  one  knows 

the  meaning  of  that  phrase  better  than  you,  Mr.  ." 

A  friend  of  mine  in  the  diplomatic  service,  visiting 
Rome  in  the  old  days  of  the  Temporal  Power,  had  the 
honor  of  an  interview  with  Pio  Nono.  The  Pope  gra- 
ciously offered  him  a  cigar — "  I  am  told  you  will  find 
this  very  fine."  The  Englishman  made  that  stupidest  of 
all  answers,  "Thank  your  Holiness,  but  I  have  no  vices." 
**This  isn't  a  vice ;  if  it  was,  you  would  have  it."  An- 
other repartee  from  the  Vatican  reached  me  a  few  years 
ago,  when  the  German  Emperor  paid  his  visit  to  Leo 
XIII.  Count  Herbert  Bismarck  was  in  attendance  on  his 
Imperial  master,  and  when  they  reached  the  door  of  the 
Pope's  audience  -  chamber  the  Emperor  passed  in,  and 
the  Count  tried  to  follow.  A  gentleman  of  the  Papal 
Court  motioned  him  to  stand  back,  as  there  must  be  no 
third  person  at  the  interview  between  the  Pope  and  the 
Emperor.  "I  am  Count  Herbert  Bismarck,"  shouted  the 
German,  as  he  struggled  to  follow  his  master.  ''  That," 
replied  the  Roman,  with  calm  dignity,  "may  account 
for,  but  it  does  not  excuse,  your  conduct." 

But,  after  all  these  "fashnable  fax  and  polite  anny- 
goats,"  as  Thackeray  would  have  called  them,  after  all 
these  engaging  courtesies  of  kings  and  prelates  and  great 
ladies,  I  think  that  the  honors  in  the  way  of  repartee 
rest  with  the  little  Harrow  boy  who  was  shouting  himself 
hoarse  in  the  jubilation  of  victory  after  an  Eton  and 

186 


REPARTEE 

Harrow  match  at  Lord's,  in  which  Harrow  had  it  hollow. 
To  him  an  Eton  boy,  of  corresponding  years,  severely 
observed :  "  AVell,  you  Harrow  fellows  needn't  be  so 
beastly  cocky.  When  you  wanted  a  Head  Master  you 
had  to  come  to  Eton  to  get  one."  The  small  Harrovian 
was  dumbfounded  for  a  moment,  and  then,  pulling  him- 
self together  for  a  final  effort  of  deadly  sarcasm,  ex- 
claimed :  "Well,  at  any  rate,  no  one  can  say  that  we 
ever  produced  a  Mr.  Gladstone." 


XX 

TITLES 

The  List  of  Honors,  usually  published  on  Her  Maj- 
esty's Birthday,  is  this  year*  reserved  till  the  Jubilee 
Day,  and  to  sanguine  aspirants  I  would  say,  in  Mrs. 
Gamp's  immortal  words,  "Seek  not  to  proticipate." 
Such  a  list  always  contains  food  for  the  reflective  mind, 
and  some  of  the  thoughts  which  it  suggests  may  even  lie 
too  deep  for  tears.  Why  is  my  namesake  picked  out 
for  knighthood,  while  I  remain  hidden  in  my  native 
obscurity  ?  Why  is  my  rival  made  a  C.B.,  while  I  "go 
forth  Companionless"  to  meet  the  chances  and  the  vexa- 
tions of  another  year  ?  But  there  is  balm  in  Gilead. 
If  I  have  fared  badly,  my  friends  have  done  little  better. 
Like  Mr.  Squeers,  when  Bolder's  father  was  two-pound- 
ten  short,  they  have  had  their  disappointments  to  con- 
tend against.  A,  who  was  so  confident  of  a  peerage,  is 
fobbed  off  with  a  baronetcy ;  and  B,  whose  labors  for 
the  Primrose  League  entitled  him  to  expect  the  Bath, 
finds  himself  grouped  with  the  Queen's  footmen  in  the 
Eoyal  Victorian  Order.  As  when  Sir  Robert  Peel  de- 
clined to  forma  Government  in  1839  "  twenty  gentlemen 
who  had  not  been  appointed  Under  Secretaries  of  State 
moaned  over  the  martyrdom  of  young  ambition,"  so 
during  the  first  fortnight  of  1897  at  least  that  number 
of  middle-aged  self-seekers  came  to  the  regretful  con- 

*  1897. 
188 


TITLES 

elusion  that  Lord  Salisbury  was  not  sufficiently  a  man 
of  the  world  for  his  present  position,  and  inwardly  asked 
why  a  judge  or  a  surgeon  should  be  preferred  before 
a  company-promoter  or  a  party  hack.  And  while  feel- 
ing is  thus  fermenting  at  the  base  of  the  social  edifice, 
things  are  not  really  tranquil  at  the  summit. 

It  is  not  long  since  the  chief  of  the  princely  House  of 
Duff  was  raised  to  the  first  order  of  the  peerage,  and 
one  or  two  opulent  earls,  encouraged  by  his  example, 
are  understood  to  be  looking  upward.  Every  constitu- 
tional Briton,  whatever  his  political  creed,  has  in  his 
heart  of  hearts  a  wholesome  reverence  for  a  dukedom. 
Lord  Beaconsfield,  who  understood  these  little  traits 
of  our  national  character  even  more  perfectly  than 
Thackeray,  says  of  his  favorite  St.  Aldegonde  (who  was 
heir  to  the  richest  dukedom  in  the  kingdom)  that  "  he 
held  extreme  opinions,  especially  on  political  affairs, 
being  a  Republican  of  the  reddest  dye.  He  was  opposed 
to  all  privilege,  and  indeed  to  all  orders  of  men  except 
dukes,  who  were  a  necessity."  That  is  a  delicious  touch. 
St.  Aldegonde,  whatever  his  political  aberrations,  voiced 
the  universal  sentiment  of  his  less  fortunate  fellow- 
citizens  ;  nor  can  the  most  soaring  ambition  of  the 
British  Matron  desire  a  nobler  epitaph  than  that  of  the 
lady  immortalized  by  Thomas  Ingoldsby  : 

"She  drank  prussic  acid  without  any  water, 
And  died  like  a  Duke-and-a-Ducbess's  daughter." 

As,  according  to  Dr.  Johnson,  all  claret  would  be  port 
if  it  could,  so,  presumably,  every  marquis  would  like  to 
be  a  duke ;  and  yet,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  that  Elysian 
translation  is  seldom  made.  A  marquis,  properly  re- 
garded, is  not  so  much  a  nascent  duke  as  an  amplified 
earl.  A  shrewd  observer  of  the  world  once  said  to  me  : 
"  When  an  earl  gets  a  marquisate,  it  is  worth  a  hundred 

189 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

thousand  pounds  in  hard  money  to  his  family."  The  ex- 
planation of  this  cryptic  utterance  is  that,  whereas  an 
earl's  younger  sons  are  "misters,"  a  marquis's  younger 
sons  are  "lords."  Each  "my  lord"  can  make  a  "my 
lady,"  and  therefore  commands  a  distinctly  higher  price 
in  the  marriage  market  of  a  wholesomely  minded  com- 
munity. Miss  Higgs,  with  her  fifty  thousand  pounds, 
might  scorn  the  notion  of  becoming  the  Honorable  Mrs. 
Percy  Popjoy  ;  but  as  Lady  Magnus  Charters  she  would 
feel  a  laudable  ambition  gratified. 

An  earldom  is,  in  its  combination  of  euphony,  antiq- 
uity, and  association,  perhaps  the  most  impressive  of 
all  the  titles  in  the  peerage.  Most  rightly  did  the  four- 
teenth Earl  of  Derby  decline  to  be  degraded  into  a  brand- 
new  duke.  An  earldom  has  always  been  the  right  of  a 
Prime  Minister  who  wishes  to  leave  the  Commons.  In 
1880  a  member  of  the  House  of  Russell  (in  which  there 
are  certain  Whiggish  traditions  of  jobbery)  was  fighting 
a  hotly  contested  election,  and  his  ardent  supporters 
brought  out  a  sarcastic  placard — "  Benjamin  Earl  of 
Beaconsfield  !  He  made  himself  an  earl  and  the  peoj)le 
poor"  ;  to  which  a  rejoinder  was  instantly  forthcoming — 
"  John  Earl  Russell !  He  made  himself  an  earl  and  his 
relations  rich."  The  amount  of  truth  in  the  two  state- 
ments was  about  equal.  In  1885  this  order  of  the  peer- 
age missed  the  greatest  distinction  which  fate  is  likely 
ever  to  oifer  it,  when  Mr.  Gladstone  declined  the  earl- 
dom proffered  by  her  Majesty  on  his  retirement  from 
office.  Had  he  accepted  it,  it  was  understood  that  the 
representatives  of  the  last  Earl  of  Liverpool  would  have 
waived  their  claims  to  the  extinct  title,  and  the  greatest 
of  the  Queen's  Prime  Ministers  would  have  borne  the 
name  of  the  city  which  gave  him  birth. 

But,  magnificent  and  euphonious  as  an  earldom  is,  the 
children  of  an  earl  are  the  half-castes  of  the  peerage. 

190 


TITLES 

The  eldest  son  is  "  my  lord,"  and  his  sisters  are  "  my 
lady";  and  ever  since  the  days  of  Mr.  Foker,  Senior,  it 
has  been  de  rigueur  for  an  opulent  brewer  to  marry  an 
earl's  daughter ;  but  the  younger  sons  are  not  distin- 
guishable from  the  ignominious  progeny  of  viscounts  and 
barons.  Two  little  boys,  respectively  the  eldest  and  the 
second  son  of  an  earl,  were  playing  on  the  front  stair- 
case of  their  home,  when  the  eldest  fell  over  into  the 
hall  below.  The  younger  called  to  the  footman  who 
picked  his  brother  up,  "  Is  he  hurt  ?"  "  Killed,  my  lord," 
was  the  instantaneous  reply  of  a  servant  who  knew  the 
devolution  of  a  courtesy  title. 

As  the  marquesses  people  the  debatable  land  between 
the  dukes  and  the  earls,  so  do  the  viscounts  between  the 
earls  and  the  barons.  A  child  whom  Matthew  Arnold 
was  examining  in  grammar  once  wrote  of  certain  words 
which  he  found  it  hard  to  classify  under  their  proper 
parts  of  speech  that  they  were  ''  thrown  into  the  common 
sink,  which  is  adverbs."  I  hope  I  shall  not  be  consid- 
ered guilty  of  any  disrespect  if  I  say  that  ex-Speakers, 
ex-Secretaries  of  State,  successful  generals,  and  ambi- 
tions barons  who  are  not  quite  good  enough  for  earl- 
doms, are  "  thrown  into  the  common  sink,  which  is 
viscounts."  Not  only  heralds  and  genealogists,  but 
every  one  who  has  the  historic  sense,  must  have  felt 
an  emotion  of  regret  when  the  splendid  title  of  twenty- 
third  Baron  Dacre  was  merged  by  Mr.  Speaker  Brand 
in  the  pinchbeck  dignity  of  first  Viscount  Hampden. 

After  viscounts,  barons.  The  baronage  of  England  is 
headed  by  the  bishops ;  but  we  have  so  recently  dis- 
coursed of  those  right  reverend  peers  that,  Dante-like, 
we  will  not  reason  of  them,  but  pass  on — only  remarking, 
as  we  pass,  that  it  is  held  on  good  authority  that  no 
human  being  ever  experiences  a  rapture  so  intense  as  an 
American  bishop  from  a  Western  State  when  he  first 

191 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

hears  himself  called  "My  lord"  at  a  London  dinner- 
party. After  the  spiritual  barons  come  the  secular  barons 
— the  "common  or  garden"  peers  of  the  United  King- 
dom. Of  these  there  are  considerably  more  than  three 
hundred ;  and  of  all,  except  some  thirty  or  forty  at  the 
most,  it  may  be  said  without  offence  that  they  are  prod- 
ucts of  the  opulent  middle  -  class.  Pitt  destroyed  delib- 
erately and  forever  the  exclusive  character  of  the  British 
peerage  when,  as  Lord  Beaconsfield  said,  he  "  created  a 
plebeian  aristocracy  and  blended  it  with  the  patrician 
oligarchy."  And  in  order  to  gain  admission  to  this  "ple- 
beian aristocracy,"  men  otherwise  reasonable  and  honest 
will  spend  incredible  sums,  undergo  prodigious  exertions, 
associate  themselves  with  the  basest  intrigues,  and  per- 
form the  most  unblushing  tergiversations.  Lord  Hough- 
ton told  me  that  he  said  to  a  well-known  politician  who 
boasted  that  he  had  refused  a  peerage  :  "  Then  you  made 
a  great  mistake.  A  peerage  would  have  secured  you 
three  things  that  you  are  much  in  need  of  —  social  con- 
sideration, longer  credit  with  your  tradesmen,  and  better 
marriages  for  your  younger  children." 

It  is  unlucky  that  comparatively  recent  legislation  has 
put  it  out  of  the  power  of  a  Prime  Minister  to  create 
fresh  Irish  peers,  for  an  Irish  peerage  was  a  cheap  and 
convenient  method  of  rewarding  political  service.  Lord 
Palmerston  held  that,  combining  social  rank  with  eligi- 
bility to  the  House  of  Commons,  it  was  the  most  desir- 
able distinction  for  a  politician.  Pitt,  when  his  banker, 
Mr.  Smith  (who  lived  in  Whitehall),  desired  the  right 
of  driving  through  the  Horse  Guards,  said  :  "  No,  I  can't 
give  you  that ;  but  I  will  make  you  an  Irish  peer"  ;  and 
the  banker  became  the  first  Lord  Carrington. 

What  is  a  baronet  ?  ask  some.  Sir  Wilfrid  Lawson 
(who  ought  to  know)  replies  that  he  is  a  man  "  who  has 
ceased  to  be  a  gentleman  and  has  not  become  a  noble- 

192 


TITLES 

man."  But  this  is  too  severe  a  judgment.  It  breathes 
a  spirit  of  contempt  bred  of  familiarity,  which  may,  with- 
out irreverence,  be  assumed  by  a  member  of  an  exalted 
Order,  but  which  a  humble  outsider  would  do  well  to 
avoid.  As  Major  Pendennis  said  of  a  similar  manifesta- 
tion, **  It  sits  prettily  enough  on  a  young  patrician  in 
early  life,  though  nothing  is  so  loathsome  among  persons 
of  our  rank."  I  turn,  therefore,  for  an  answer  to  Sir 
Bernard  Burke,  who  says  :  "  The  hereditary  Order  of 
Baronets  was  created  by  patent  in  England  by  King 
James  I.  in  1611.  At  the  institution  many  of  the  chief 
estated  gentlemen  of  the  kingdom  were  selected  for  the 
dignity.  The  first  batch  of  baronets  comprised  some  of 
the  principal  landed  proprietors  among  the  best-descend- 
ed gentlemen  of  the  kingdom,  and  the  list  was  headed 
by  a  name  illustrious  more  than  any  other  for  the  intel- 
lectual pre-eminence  with  which  it  is  associated  —  the 
name  of  Bacon.  The  Order  of  Baronets  is  scarcely  esti- 
mated at  its  proper  value." 

I  cannot  help  feeling  that  this  account  of  the  baronet- 
age, though  admirable  in  tone  and  spirit,  and  actually 
pathetic  in  its  closing  touch  of  regretful  melancholy,  is  a 
little  wanting  in  what  the  French  would  call  ''actuality." 
It  leaves  out  of  sight  the  most  endearing,  because  the 
most  human,  trait  of  the  baronetage — its  pecuniary  ori- 
gin. On  this  point  let  us  hear  the  historian  David  Hume  : 
"  The  title  of  Baronet  was  sold,  and  two  hundred  pat- 
ents of  that  species  of  knighthood  were  disposed  of  for 
so  many  thousand  pounds."  This  was  truly  epoch-mak- 
ing. It  was  one  of  those  "actions  of  the  just"  which 
"smell  sweet  and  blossom  in  the  dust."  King  James's 
baronets  were  the  models  and  precursors  of  all  who  to 
the  end  of  time  should  traffic  in  the  purchase  of  honors. 
Their  example  has  justified  posterity,  and  the  prece- 
dent which  they  set  is  to-day  the  principal  method  by 
N  193 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

which  the  war -chests  of  our  political  parties  are  re- 
plenished. 

Another  authority,  handling  the  same  high  theme, 
tells  us  that  the  rebellion  in  Ulster  gave  rise  to  this  Or- 
der, and  *'  it  was  required  of  each  baronet  on  his  creation 
to  pay  into  the  Exchequer  as  much  as  would  maintain 
thirty  soldiers  three  years  at  eight-pence  a  day  in  the 
province  of  Ulster,"  and  as  a  historical  memorial  of  their 
original  service  the  baronets  bear  as  an  augmentation  to 
their  coats  of  arms  the  royal  badge  of  Ulster — a  Bloody 
Hand  on  a  white  field.  It  was  in  apt  reference  to  this 
that  a  famous  Whip,  on  learning  that  a  baronet  of  his 
party  was  extremely  anxious  to  be  promoted  to  the  peer- 
age, said,  *' You  can  tell  Sir  Peter  Proudflesh,  with  my 
compliments,  that  if  he  wants  a  peerage  he  will  have  to 
put  his  Bloody  Hand  into  his  pocket.  We  don't  do  these 
things  for  nothing." 

For  the  female  mind  the  baronetage  has  a  peculiar 
fascination.  As  there  was  once  a  female  Freemason,  so 
there  was  once  a  female  baronet — Dame  Maria  BoUes,  of 
Osberton,  in  the  County  of  Nottingham.  The  rank  of 
a  baronet's  wife  is  not  unfrequently  conferred  on  the 
widow  of  a  man  to  whom  a  baronetcy  had  been  promised 
and  who  died  too  soon  to  receive  it.  "  Call  me  a  vul- 
gar woman !"  screamed  a  lady  once  prominent  in  society 
when  some  ' 'damned  good-natured  friend"  repeated  a  crit- 
ical comment.  ''  Call  me  a  vulgar  woman  !  me,  who  was 
Miss  Blank,  of  Blank  Hall,  and  if  I  had  been  a  boy  should 
have  been  a  baronet !" 

The  baronets  of  fiction  are  like  their  congeners  in  real 
life — a  numerous  and  a  motley  band.  Lord  Beaconsfield 
described,  with  a  brilliancy  of  touch  which  was  all  his 
own,  the  labors  and  the  sacrifices  of  Sir  Vavasour  Fire- 
brace  on  behalf  of  the  Order  of  Baronets  and  the  priv- 
ileges wrongfully  withheld  from  them.     "  They  are  evi- 

194 


TITLES 

dently  the  body  destined  to  save  this  country  ;  blending 
all  sympathies — the  Crown,  of  which  they  are  the  pecul- 
iar champions  ;  the  nobles,  of  whom  they  are  the  popu- 
lar branch  ;  the  people,  who  recognize  in  them  their  nat- 
ural leaders.  .  .  .  Had  the  poor  King  lived,  we  should  at 
least  have  had  the  Badge,"  added  Sir  Vavasour,  mourn- 
fully. 

"  The  Badge  ?" 

"  It  would  have  satisfied  Sir  Grosvenor  le  Draughte  ; 
he  was  for  compromise.  But,  confound  him,  his  father 
was  only  an  accoucheur. " 

A  great  merit  of  the  baronets,  from  the  novelist's  point 
of  view,  is  that  they  and  their  belongings  are  so  un- 
commonly easy  to  draw.  With  the  baronet  and  his  fam- 
ily all  is  plain  sailing.  He  is  Sir  Grosvenor,  his  wife  is 
Lady  le  Draughte,  his  sons,  elder  and  younger,  are  Mr. 
le  Draughte,  and  his  daughters  Miss  le  Draughte.  The 
wayfaring  man,  though  a  fool,  cannot  err  where  the  rule 
is  so  simple,  and  accordingly  the  baronets  enjoy  a  de- 
served popularity  with  those  novelists  who  look  up  to 
the  titled  classes  of  society  as  men  look  at  the  stars,  but 
are  a  little  puzzled  about  their  proper  designations.  Miss 
Braddon  alone  has  drawn  more  baronets,  virtuous  and 
vicious,  handsome  and  hideous,  than  would  have  colon- 
ized Ulster  ten  times  over  and  left  a  residue  for  Nova 
Scotia.  Sir  Pitt  Crawley  and  Sir  Barnes  Newcome  will 
live  as  long  as  English  novels  are  read,  and  I  hope  that 
dull  forgetfulness  will  never  seize  as  its  prey  Sir  Alured 
Mogyns  Smyth  de  Mogyns,  who  was  born  Alfred  Smith 
Muggins,  but  traced  a  descent  from  Hogyn  Mogyn  of  the 
Hundred  Beeves,  and  took  for  his  motto  "  Ung  Roy  ung 
Mogyns."  His  pedigree  is  drawn  by  the  hand  of  a  mas- 
ter in  the  seventh  chapter  of  the  Booh  of  Snobs,  and  is 
imitated  with  great  fidelity  on  more  than  one  page  of 
Burke's  Peerage. 

195 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

An  eye  closely  intent  upon  the  lesser  beauties  of  the 
natural  Avorld  will  find  a  very  engaging  specimen  of  the 
genus  Baronet  in  Sir  Barnet  Skettles,  who  was  so  kind 
to  Paul  Dombey  and  so  angry  with  poor  Mr.  Baps.  Sir 
Leicester  Dedlock  is  on  a  larger  scale  —  in  fact,  almost 
too  "fine  and  large"  for  life.  But  I  recall  a  fleeting  vi- 
sion of  perfect  loveliness  among  Miss  Monflathers's  pupils 
— "a  baronet's  daughter  who  by  some  extraordinary  re- 
versal of  the  laws  of  nature  was  not  only  plain  in  feat- 
ure but  dull  in  intellect." 

So  far  we  have  spoken  only  of  hereditary  honors ;  but 
our  review  would  be  singularly  incomplete  if  it  excluded 
those  which  are  purely  personal.  Of  these,  of  course, 
incomparably  the  highest  is  the  Order  of  the  Garter,  and 
its  most  charactei'istic  glory  is  that,  in  Lord  Melbourne's 
phrase,  ''there  is  no  damned  nonsense  of  merit  about 
it."  The  Emperor  of  Lilliput  rewarded  his  courtiers 
with  three  fine  silken  threads,  one  of  which  was  blue, 
one  green,  and  one  red.  The  Emperor  held  a  stick  hori- 
zontally, and  the  candidates  crept  under  it,  backwards 
and  forwards,  several  times.  Whoever  showed  the  most 
agility  in  creeping  was  rewarded  with  the  blue  thread. 

Let  us  hope  that  the  methods  of  chivalry  have  under- 
gone some  modification  since  the  days  of  Queen  Anne, 
and  that  the  Blue  Ribbon  of  the  Garter,  which  ranks 
with  the  Golden  Fleece  and  makes  its  wearer  a  comrade 
of  all  the  crowned  heads  of  Europe,  is  attained  by  acts 
more  dignified  than  those  which  awoke  the  picturesque 
satire  of  Dean  Swift.     But  I  do  not  feel  sure  about  it. 

Great  is  the  charm  of  a  personal  decoration.  Byron 
wrote : 

"Ye  stars,  that  are  the  poetry  of  heaven." 

"A  stupid  line,"  says  Mr.  St.  Barbe,  in  Etidt/mion; 
"  he  should  have  written,  '  Ye  stars,  which  are  the  poetry 

196 


TITLES 

of  dress.'"  North  of  the  Tweed  the  green  thread  of 
Swift's  imagination — "  the  most  ancient  and  most  noble 
Order  of  the  Thistle  " — is  scarcely  less  coveted  than  the 
supreme  honor  of  the  Garter ;  but  wild  horses  should 
not  tear  from  me  the  name  of  the  Scottish  peer  of  whom 

his  political  leader  said^  '  If  I  gave the  Thistle,  he 

would  eat  it." 

The  Bath  tries  to  make  up  by  the  lurid  splendor  of  its 
ribbon  and  the  brilliancy  of  its  star  for  its  comparative- 
ly humble  and  homely  associations.  It  is  the  peculiar 
prize  of  Generals  and  Home  Secretaries,  and  is  display- 
ed with  manly  openness  on  the  bosom  of  the  statesman 
once  characteristically  described  by  Lord  Beaconsfield  as 
"  Mr.  Secretary  Cross,  whom  I  can  never  remember  to 
call  Sir  Richard."  But,  after  all  said  and  done,  the  in- 
stitution of  knighthood  is  older  than  any  particular  or- 
der of  knights ;  and  lovers  of  the  old  world  must  observe 
with  regret  the  discredit  into  which  it  has  fallen  since 
it  became  the  guerdon  of  the  successful  grocer. 

"When  Lord  Beaconsfield  left  office  in  1880  he  con- 
ferred a  knighthood — the  first  of  a  long  series  similarly 
bestowed — on  an  eminent  journalist.  The  friends  of  the 
new  knight  were  inclined  to  banter  him,  and  proposed 
his  health  at  dinner  in  facetious  terms.  Lord  Beacons- 
field, who  was  of  the  company,  looked  preternaturally 
grave,  and  filling  his  glass,  gazed  steadily  at  the  flattered 
editor  and  said  in  his  deepest  tone  :  "  Yes,  Sir  A.  B.,  I 
drink  to  your  good  health,  and  I  congratulate  you  on 
having  attained  a  rank  which  was  deemed  sufficient  honor 
for  Sir  Philip  Sidney  and  Sir  Walter  Ealeigh,  Sir  Isaac 
Newton  and  Sir  Christopher  "Wren." 

But  a  truce  to  this  idle  jesting  on  exalted  themes — too 
palpably  the  utterance  of  social  envy  and  mortified  am- 
bition. "  They  are  our  superiors,  and  that's  the  fact," 
as  the  modest  author  of  the  Book  of  Snohs  exclaims  in 

197 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

his  chapter  on  the  Whigs.  "  I  am  not  a  Whig  myself  ; 
bat,  oh,  how  I  should  like  to  be  one  !"  In  a  similar  spirit 
of  compunctious  self-abasement,  the  present  writer  may 
exclaim,  ''I  have  not  myself  been  included  in  the  list 
of  Birthday  Honors  —  but,  oh,  how  I  should  like  to  be 
there  V 


XXI 

THE   queen's   ACCESSION" 

The  writer  of  these  papers  would  not  willingly  fall 
behind  his  countrymen  in  the  loyal  sentiments  and 
picturesque  memories  proper  to  the  **high  midsummer 
pomps"  which  begin  to-morrow.*  But  there  is  an  al- 
most insuperable  difficulty  in  finding  anything  to  write 
which  shall  be  at  once  new  and  true ;  and  this  paper 
must  therefore  consist  largely  of  extracts.  As  the  sun  of 
June  brings  out  wasps,  so  the  genial  influence  of  the 
Jubilee  has  produced  an  incredible  abundance  of  fibs, 
myths,  and  fables.  They  have  for  their  subject  the  early 
days  of  our  Gracious  Sovereign,  and  round  that  central 
theme  they  play  with  every  variety  of  picturesque  in- 
ventiveness. Nor  has  invention  alone  been  at  work,  Ee- 
search  has  been  equally  busy.  Miss  Wynn's  description, 
admirable  in  its  simplicity,  of  the  manner  in  which  the 
girl-queen  received  the  news  of  her  accession  was  given 
to  the  world  by  Abraham  Hayward  in  Diaries  of  a  Lady 
of  Quality  a  generation  ago.  Within  the  last  month  it 
must  have  done  duty  a  hundred  times. 

Scarcely  less  familiar  is  the  more  elaborate  but  still 
impressive  passage  from  Sybil,  in  which  Lord  Beacons- 
field  described  the  same  event.  And  yet,  as  far  as  my 
observation  has  gone,  the  citations  from  this  fine  descrip- 
tion have  always  stopped  short  just  at  the  opening  of  the 

*  Sunday,  June  20,  1897. 
199 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

most  appropriate  passage  ;  my  readers,  at  any  rate,  shall 
see  it  and  judge  it  for  themselves.  If  there  is  one  feat- 
ure in  the  national  life  of  the  last  sixty  years  on  which 
Englishmen  may  justly  pride  themselves  it  is  the  amel- 
ioration of  the  social  condition  of  the  workers.  Put- 
ting aside  all  ecclesiastical  revivals,  all  purely  political 
changes,  and  all  appeals,  however  successful,  to  the  hor- 
rible arbitrament  of  the  sword,  it  is  Social  Reform  which 
has  made  the  Queen's  reign  memorable  and  glorious.  The 
first  incident  of  that  reign  was  described  in  Sybil  not  only 
with  vivid  observation  of  the  present,  but  with  something 
of  prophetic  insight  into  the  future. 

"  In  a  sweet  and  thrilling  voice,  and  with  a  composed 
mien  which  indicates  rather  the  absorbing  sense  of  au- 
gust duty  than  an  absence  of  emotion,  the  queen  an- 
nounces her  accession  to  the  throne  of  her  ancestors,  and 
her  humble  hope  that  Divine  Providence  will  guard  over 
the  fulfilment  of  her  lofty  trust.  The  prelates  and  cap- 
tains and  chief  men  of  her  realm  then  advance  to  the 
throne,  and,  kneeling  before  her,  pledge  their  troth  and 
take  the  sacred  oaths  of  allegiance  and  supremacy — al- 
legiance to  one  who  rules  over  the  land  that  the  great 
Macedonian  could  not  conquer,  and  over  a  continent  of 
which  Columbus  never  dreamed  :  to  the  Queen  of  every 
sea,  and  of  nations  in  every  zone. 

"  It  is  not  of  these  that  I  would  speak,  but  of  a  nation 
nearer  her  footstool,  and  which  at  this  moment  looks  to 
her  with  anxiety,  with  affection,  perhaps  with  hope.  Fair 
and  serene,  she  has  the  blood  and  beauty  of  the  Saxon. 
Will  it  be  her  proud  destiny  at  length  to  bear  relief  to 
suffering  millions,  and,  with  that  soft  hand  which  might 
inspire  troubadours  and  guerdon  knights,  break  the  last 
links  in  the  chain  of  Saxon  thraldom  ?" 

To-day,  with  pride  and  thankfulness,  chastened  though 
it  be  by  our  sense  of  national  shortcomings,  we  can  an- 

200 


THE    QUEEN'S    ACCESSION 

swer  Yes  to  this  wistful  question  of  genius  and  humanity. 
We  have  seen  the  regulation  of  dangerous  labor,  the  pro- 
tection of  women  and  children  from  excessive  toil,  the 
removal  of  the  tax  on  bread,  the  establishment  of  a  sys- 
tem of  national  education ;  and,  in  Macaulay's  phrase,  a 
point  which  yesterday  was  invisible  is  our  goal  to-day,  and 
will  be  our  starting-post  to-morrow. 

Her  Majesty  ascended  the  throne  on  June  20,  1837, 
and  on  the  29th  the  Times  published  a  delightfully  char- 
acteristic article  against  the  Liberal  Ministers,  "  into 
whose  hands  the  all  but  infant  and  helpless  Queen  has 
been  compelled  by  her  unhappy  condition  to  deliver  up 
herself  and  her  indignant  people."  Bating  one  word, 
this  might  be  an  extract  from  an  article  on  the  formation 
of  Mr.  Gladstone's  Home  Eule  Government.  Surely  the 
consistency  of  the  Times  in  evil-speaking  is  one  of  the 
most  precious  of  our  national  possessions.  On  June  30 
the  Koyal  Assent  was  given  by  commission  to  forty  Bills 
— the  first  Bills  which  became  law  in  the  Queen's  reign  ; 
and,  the  clerks  in  the  House  of  Lords  having  been  accus- 
tomed ever  since  the  days  of  Queen  Anne  to  say  "  His 
Majesty "  and  "  Le  Eoy  le  veult,"  there  was  hopeless 
bungling  over  the  feminine  appellations,  now  after  130 
years  revived.  However,  the  Bills  scrambled  through 
somehow,  and  among  them  was  the  Act  which  abolished 
the  pillory — an  auspicious  commencement  of  a  humane 
and  reforming  reign.  On  July  8  came  the  rather  belated 
burial  of  William  IV.  at  Windsor,  and  on  the  11th  the 
newly  completed  Buckingham  Palace  was  occupied  for 
the  first  time,  the  Queen  and  the  Duchess  of  Kent  mov- 
ing thither  from  Kensington. 

On  July  17  Parliament  was  prorogued  by  the  Queen  in 
person.  Her  Majesty's  first  speech  from  the  Throne  re- 
ferred to  friendly  relations  with  Foreign  Powers,  the 
diminntion   of  capital  punishment,  and  "discreet  im- 

201 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

provements  in  ecclesiastical  institutions/'  It  was  read 
in  a  clear  and  musical  voice,  with  a  fascinating  grace  of 
accent  and  elocution  which  never  faded  from  the  memory 
of  those  who  heard  it.  As  long  as  Her  Majesty  continu- 
ed to  open  and  prorogue  Parliament  in  person  the  same 
perfection  of  delivery  was  always  noticed.  An  old  M.P., 
by  no  means  inclined  to  be  a  courtier,  told  me  that  when 
Her  Majesty  approached  the  part  of  her  speech  relating 
to  the  estimates,  her  way  of  uttering  the  words  ''Gentle- 
men of  the  House  of  Commons  "  was  the  most  winning 
address  he  had  ever  heard  :  it  gave  to  an  official  demand 
the  character  of  a  personal  request.  After  the  Prince 
Consort's  death  in  1861  the  Queen  did  not  again  appear 
at  Westminster  till  the  opening  of  the  new  Parliament  in 
1866.  On  that  occasion  the  speech  was  read  by  the  Lord 
Chancellor,  and  the  same  usage  has  prevailed  whenever 
Her  Majesty  has  opened  Parliament  since  that  time.  But 
on  several  occasions  of  late  years  she  has  read  her  reply 
to  addresses  presented  by  public  bodies,  and  I  well  rec- 
ollect that  at  the  opening  of  the  Imperial  Institute  in 
1893,  though  the  timbre  of  her  voice  was  deeper  than  in 
early  years,  the  same  admirable  elocution  made  every 
syllable  audible. 

In  June,  1837,  the  most  lively  emotion  in  the  masses 
of  the  people  was  the  joy  of  a  great  escape.  I  have  said 
before  that  grave  men,  not  the  least  given  to  exaggera- 
tion, told  me  their  profound  conviction  that  had  Prin- 
cess Victoria  died  in  youth,  and  her  uncle,  Ernest  Duke 
of  Cumberland,  succeeded  to  the  throne  on  the  death  of 
William  IV.,  no  earthly  power  could  have  averted  a  revo- 
lution. Into  the  causes  of  that  intense  unpopularity 
this  is  not  the  occasion  to  enter  ;  but  let  me  just  describe 
a  curious  print  of  the  year  1837  which  lies  before  me  as  I 
write.*  It  is  headed  **  The  Contrast,"  and  is  divided  into 
*  See  frontispiece. 
203 


THE    QUEEN'S   ACCESSION 

two  panels.  On  your  left  hand  is  a  young  girl,  simply 
dressed  in  mourning,  with  a  pearl  necklace  and  a  gauzy 
shawl,  and  her  hair  coiled  in  plaits,  something  after  the 
fashion  of  a  crown.  Under  this  portrait  is  "  Victoria.'^ 
On  the  other  side  of  the  picture  is  a  hideous  old  man, 
with  shaggy  eyebrows  and  scowling  gaze,  wrapped  in  a 
military  cloak  with  fur  collar  and  black  stock.  Under 
this  portrait  is  "Ernest,"  and  running  the  whole  length 
of  the  picture  is  the  legend  : 

"Look  here  upon  this  picture — and  on  this — 
The  counterfeit  presentment  of  two  Sovereigns." 

This  print  was  given  to  me  by  a  veteran  Eef  ormer,  who 
told  me  that  it  expressed  in  visible  form  the  universal 
sentiment  of  England.  That  sentiment  was  daily  and 
hourly  confirmed  by  all  that  was  heard  and  seen  of  the 
girl-queen.  We  read  of  her  walking  with  a  gallant  suite 
upon  the  terrace  at  Windsor,  dressed  in  scarlet  uniform 
and  mounted  on  her  roan  charger,  to  receive  with  uplift- 
ed hand  the  salute  of  her  troops  ;  or  seated  on  the  throne 
of  the  Plantagenets  at  the  opening  of  her  Parliament, 
and  invoking  the  divine  benediction  on  the  labors  which 
should  conduce  to  "  the  welfare  and  contentment  of  My 
people,"  We  see  her  yielding  her  bright  intelligence  to 
the  constitutional  guidance,  wise  though  worldly,  of  her 
first  Prime  Minister,  the  sagacious  Melbourne.  And 
then,  when  the  exigencies  of  parliamentary  government 
forced  her  to  exchange  her  Whig  advisers  for  the  Tories, 
we  see  her  carrying  out  with  exact  propriety  the  consti- 
tutional lessons  taught  by  "  the  friend  of  her  youth," 
and  extending  to  each  premier  in  turn,  whether  person- 
ally agreeable  to  her  or  not,  the  same  absolute  confidence 
and  loyalty. 

As  regards  domestic  life,  we  have  been  told  by  Mr. 
Gladstone  that  ''even  among  happy  marriages  her  mar- 

203 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

riage  was  exceptional,  so  nearly  did  the  union  of  thought, 
heart,  and  action  both  fulfil  the  ideal  and  bring  duality 
near  to  the  borders  of  identity." 

And  so  twenty  years  went  on,  full  of  an  evergrowing 
popularity,  and  a  purifying  influence  on  the  tone  of  so- 
ciety never  fully  realized  till  the  personal  presence  was 
withdrawn.  And  then  came  the  blow  which  crushed 
her  life — "the  sun  going  down  at  noon" — and  total 
disappearance  from  all  festivity  and  parade  and  social 
splendor,  but  never  from  political  duty.  In  later  years 
we  have  seen  the  gradual  resumption  of  more  public 
ofl&ces ;  the  occasional  reappearances,  so  earnestly  an- 
ticipated by  her  subjects,  and  hedged  with  something  of 
a  divinity  more  than  regal ;  the  incomparable  majesty 
of  personal  bearing  which  has  taught  so  many  an  on- 
looker that  dignity  has  nothing  to  do  with  height,  or 
beauty,  or  splendor  of  raiment ;  and,  mingled  with  that 
majesty  and  unspeakably  enhancing  it,  the  human  sym- 
pathy with  suffering  and  sorrow,  which  has  made  Queen 
Victoria,  as  none  of  her  predecessors  ever  was  or  could 
be,  the  Mother  of  her  People. 

And  the  response  of  the  English  people  to  that  sym- 
pathy—  the  recognition  of  that  motherhood  —  is  writ- 
ten, not  only  in  the  printed  records  of  the  reign,  but  on 
the  "fleshly  tables"  of  English  hearts.  Let  one  home- 
ly citation  suffice  as  an  illustration.  It  is  taken  from  a 
letter  of  condolence  addressed  to  the  Queen  on  the  death 
of  Prince  ''Eddie,"  Duke  of  Clarence,  in  1892: 

"  To  our  beloved  Queen,  Victoria. 

''Dear  Lady, — We,  the  surviving  widows  and  mothers 
of  some  of  the  men  and  boys  who  lost  their  lives  by  the 
explosion  which  occurred  in  the  Oaks  Colliery,  near 
Barnsley,  in  December,  1866,  desire  to  tell  your  Majesty 
how  stunned  we  all  feel  by  the  cruel  and  unexpected 

204 


THE    QUEEN'S    ACCESSION 

blow  which  has  taken  Prince  Eddie  from  his  dear  Grand- 
mother, his  loving  parents,  his  beloved  intended,  and  an 
admiring  nation.  The  sad  news  affected  us  deeply,  we 
all  believing  that  his  youthful  strength  would  carry  him 
through  the  danger.  Dear  Lady,  we  feel  more  than  we 
can  express.  To  tell  you  that  we  sincerely  condole  with 
your  Majesty  and  the  Prince  of  Wales  in  your  and  their 
sad  bereavement  and  great  distress  is  not  to  tell  you  all 
we  feel ;  but  the  widow  of  Albert  the  Good  and  the 
parents  of  Prince  Eddie  will  understand  what  we  feel 
when  we  say  that  we  feel  all  that  widows  and  mothers 
feel  who  have  lost  those  who  were  dear  as  life  to  them. 
Dear  Lady,  we  remember  with  gratitude  all  that  you 
did  for  us  Oaks  widows  in  the  time  of  our  great  trouble, 
and  we  cannot  forget  you  in  yours.  We  have  not  for- 
gotten that  it  was  you,  dear  Queen,  who  set  the  example, 
so  promptly  followed  by  all  feeling  people,  of  forming  a 
fund  for  the  relief  of  our  distress — a  fund  which  kept  us 
out  of  the  workhouse  at  the  time  and  has  kept  us  out 
ever  since.  .  .  .  We  wish  it  were  in  our  power,  dear 
Lady,  to  dry  up  your  tears  and  comfort  you,  but  that 
we  cannot  do.  But  what  we  can  do,  and  will  do,  is  to 
pray  God,  in  His  mercy  and  goodness,  to  comfort  and 
strengthen  you  in  this  your  time  of  great  trouble. — 
Wishing  your  Majesty,  the  Prince  and  Princess  of  Wales, 
and  the  Princess  May  all  the  strength,  consolation,  and 
comfort  which  God  alone  can  give,  and  which  He  never 
fails  to  give  to  all  who  seek  Him  in  truth  and  sincerity, 
we  remain,  beloved  Queen,  your  loving  and  grateful 
though  sorrowing  subjects, 

"  The  Oaks  Widows. 

"(Signed  on  behalf  of  the  widows  by  Sarah  Brad- 
let,  one  of  them.) 

"  Poor  Eddie !  to  die  so  young,  and  so  much  happi- 
ness in  prospect.     Oh  !  'tis  hard."' 

305 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

The  historic  associations,  half  gay,  half  sad,  of  the 
week  on  which  we  are  just  entering  tempt  me  to  linger 
on  this  fascinating  theme,  and  I  cannot  illustrate  it 
better  than  by  quoting  the  concluding  paragraphs  from 
a  sermon,  which  now  has  something  of  the  dignity  of 
fulfilled  prophecy,  and  which  was  preached  by  Sydney 
Smith  in  St.  Paul's  Cathedral  on  the  Sunday  after  the 
Queen's  accession. 

The  sermon  is  throughout  a  noble  composition,  grand- 
ly conceived  and  admirably  expressed.  It  begins  with 
some  grave  reflections  on  the  "  folly  and  nothingness  of 
all  things  human  "  as  exemplified  by  the  death  of  a  king. 
It  goes  on  to  enforce  on  the  young  Queen  the  paramount 
duties  of  educating  her  people,  avoiding  war,  and  cul- 
tivating personal  religion.  It  concludes  with  the  fol- 
lowing passage,  which  in  its  letter,  or  at  least  in  its 
spirit,  might  well  find  a  place  in  some  of  to-morrow's 
sermons :  "  The  Patriot  Queen,  whom  I  am  painting, 
reverences  the  National  Church,  frequents  its  worship, 
and  regulates  her  faith  by  its  precepts ;  but  she  with- 
stands the  encroachments  and  keeps  down  the  ambition 
natural  to  Establishments,  and  by  rendering  the  privi- 
leges of  the  Church  compatible  with  the  civil  freedom 
of  all  sects,  confers  strength  upon  and  adds  duration  to 
that  wise  and  magnificent  institution.  And  then  this 
youthful  Monarch,  profoundly  but  wisely  religious,  dis- 
daining hypocrisy,  and  far  above  the  childish  follies  of 
false  piety,  casts  herself  upon  God,  and  seeks  from  the 
Gospel  of  His  Blessed  Son  a  path  for  her  steps  and  a 
comfort  for  her  soul.  Here  is  a  picture  which  warms 
every  English  heart,  and  would  bring  all  this  congrega- 
tion upon  their  bended  knees  to  pray  it  may  be  realized. 
What  limits  to  the  glory  and  happiness  of  the  native 
land  if  the  Creator  should  in  His  mercy  have  placed  in 
the  heart  of  this  royal  woman  the  rudiments  of  wisdom 

206 


THE    QUEEN'S    ACCESSION 

and  mercy  ?  And  if,  giving  them  time  to  expand,  and 
to  bless  our  children's  children  with  her  goodness,  He 
should  grant  to  her  a  long  sojourning  upon  earth,  and 
leave  her  to  reign  over  us  till  she  is  well  stricken  in 
years,  what  glory  !  what  happiness  !  what  joy  !  what 
bounty  of  God  !  I  of  course  can  only  expect  to  see  the 
beginning  of  such  a  splendid  period ;  but  when  I  do 
see  it  I  shall  exclaim  :  *  Lord,  now  lettest  Thou  Thy 
servant  depart  in  peace,  for  mine  eyes  have  seen  Thy 
salvation.'" 

As  respects  the  avoidance  of  war,  the  event  has  hardly 
accorded  with  the  aspiration.  It  is  melancholy  to  recall 
the  idealist  enthusiasms  which  preceded  the  Exhibition 
of  1851,  and  to  contrast  them  with  the  realities  of  the 
present  hour.  Then  the  arts  of  industry  and  the  com- 
petitions of  peace  were  to  supplant  for  ever  the  science 
of  bloodshed.  Nations  were  to  beat  their  swords  into 
ploughshares  and  their  spears  into  pruning-hooks,  and 
men  were  not  to  learn  war  any  more.  And  this  was  on 
the  eve  of  the  Crimea — the  most  ruinous,  the  most  cruel, 
and  the  least  justifiable  of  all  campaigns.  In  one  corner 
of  the  world  or  another,  the  war-drum  has  throbbed 
almost  without  intermission  from  that  day  to  this. 

But  when  we  turn  to  other  aspirations  the  retrospect 
is  more  cheerful.  Slavery  has  been  entirely  abolished, 
and,  with  all  due  respect  to  Mr.  George  Cnrzon,  is  not 
going  to  be  re-established  under  the  British  flag.  The 
punishment  of  death,  rendered  infinitely  more  impres- 
sive, and  therefore  more  deterrent,  by  its  withdrawal 
from  the  public  gaze,  is  reserved  for  ofiEences  which  even 
Komilly  would  not  have  condoned.  The  diminution  of 
crime  is  an  acknowledged  fact.  Better  laws  and  im- 
proved institutions — judicial,  political,  social,  sanitary — 
we  flatter  ourselves  that  we  may  claim.  National  Edu- 
cation dates  from  1870,  and  its  operation  during  a  quar- 

207 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

ter  of  a  century  has  changed  the  face  of  the  industrial 
world.  Queen  Victoria  in  her  later  years  reigns  over  an 
educated  people. 

Of  the  most  important  theme  of  all — our  national  ad- 
vance in  religion,  morality,  and  the  principles  of  humane 
living  —  I  have  spoken  in  previous  papers,  and  this  is 
not  the  occasion  for  anything  but  the  briefest  recapitu- 
lation. "  Where  is  boasting  ?  It  is  excluded."  There 
is  much  to  be  thankful  for,  much  to  encourage,  some- 
thing to  cause  anxiety,  and  nothing  to  justify  bombast. 
No  one  believes  more  profoundly  than  I  do  in  the  provi- 
dential mission  of  the  English  race,  and  the  very  inten- 
sity of  my  faith  in  that  mission  makes  me  even  painfully 
anxious  that  we  should  interpret  it  aright.  Men  who 
were  undergraduates  at  Oxford  in  the  seventies  learned 
the  interpretation,  in  words  of  unsurpassable  beauty, 
from  John  Euskin : 

"There  is  a  destiny  now  possible  to  us — the  highest 
ever  set  before  a  nation,  to  be  accepted  or  refused.  "We 
are  still  undegenerate  in  race  ;  a  race  mingled  of  the 
best  northern  blood.  We  are  not  yet  dissolute  in  temper, 
but  still  have  the  firmness  to  govern  and  the  grace  to 
obey.  We  have  been  taught  a  religion  of  pure  mercy, 
which  we  must  either  now  finally  betray  or  learn  to  de- 
fend by  fulfilling.  And  we  are  rich  in  an  inheritance 
of  honor,  bequeathed  to  us  through  a  thousand  years  of 
noble  history,  which  it  should  be  our  daily  thirst  to 
increase  with  splendid  avarice,  so  that  Englishmen,  if 
it  be  as  in  to  covet  honor,  should  be  the  most  offending 
souls  alive. 

"  Within  the  last  few  years  we  have  had  the  laws  of 
natural  science  opened  to  us  with  a  rapidity  which  has 
been  blinded  by  its  brightness,  and  means  of  transit 
and  communication  given  to  us  which  have  made  but 
one  kingdom  of  the  habitable  globe.     One  kingdom — but 

208 


THE    QUEEN'S    ACCESSION 

who  is  to  be  its  King  ?  Is  there  to  be  no  King  in  it, 
think  jou,  and  every  man  to  do  that  which  is  right  in 
his  own  eyes  ?  Or  only  kings  of  terror,  and  the  obscene 
Empires  of  Mammon  and  Belial  ?  Or  will  yoti,  youths 
of  England,  make  your  country  again  a  royal  throne  of 
Kings,  a  sceptred  isle,  for  all  the  world  a  source  of  light, 
a  centre  of  peace ;  mistress  of  learning  and  of  the  arts ; 
faithful  guardian  of  great  memories  in  the  midst  of  ir- 
reverent and  ephemeral  visions  ;  faithful  servant  of  time- 
tried  principles,  under  temptation  from  fond  experi- 
ments and  licentious  desires ;  and,  amid  the  cruel  and 
clamorous  jealousies  of  the  nations,  worshipped  in  her 
strange  valor  of  good-will  towards  men  ? 

"Vexilla  Regis  prodeunt.  Yes,  but  of  which  King? 
There  are  the  two  oriflammes  ;  which  shall  we  plant  on 
the  furthest  islands — the  one  that  floats  in  heavenly  fire, 
or  that  which  hangs  heavy  with  foul  tissue  of  terrestrial 
gold  ?" 


XXII 
"PRINCEDOMS,   VIRTUES,    POWERS'' 

The  celebrations  of  the  past  week  *  have  set  us  all 
upon  a  royal  tack.  Diary-keepers  have  turned  back  to 
their  earliest  volumes  for  stories  of  the  girl-queen  ;  there 
has  been  an  unprecedented  run  on  the  Annual  Register 
for  1837;  and  every  rusty  old  print  of  Princess  Victoria 
in  the  costume  of  Kate  Nickleby  has  been  paraded  as  a 
pearl  of  price.  As  I  always  pride  myself  on  following 
what  Mr.  Matthew  Arnold  used  to  call  "  the  great  mun- 
dane movement,"  I  have  been  careful  to  obey  the  im- 
pulse of  the  hour.  I  have  cudgelled  my  memory  for 
Collections  and  Recollections  suitable  to  this  season  of 
retrospective  enthusiasm.  Last  week  I  endeavored  to 
touch  some  of  the  more  serious  aspects  of  the  Jubilee, 
but  now  that  the  great  day  has  come  and  gone — "Bed- 
time, Hal,  and  all  well" — a  lighter  handling  of  the  ma- 
jestic theme  may  not  be  esteemed  unpardonable. 

Those  of  my  fellow-chroniclers  who  have  blacked  them- 
selves all  over  for  the  part  have  acted  on  the  principle 
that  no  human  life  can  be  properly  understood  without 
an  exhaustive  knowledge  of  its  grandfathers  and  grand- 
mothers. They  have  resuscitated  George  III.  and  called 
Queen  Charlotte  from  her  long  home.  With  a  less  heroic 
insistence  on  the  historic  method,  I  leave  grandparents 
out  of  sight,  and  begin  my  gossip  with  the  Queen's 

*  June  20-7,  1897. 
210 


"PRINCEDOMS,    VIRTUES,    POWERS" 

uncles.  Of  George  IV.  it  is  less  necessary  that  I  should 
speak,  for  has  not  his  character  been  faithfully  drawn  in 
Thackeray's  Lectures  on  the  Four  Georges  ? 

"  The  dandy  of  sixty,  who  bows  with  a  grace, 
And  has  taste  in  wigs,  collars,  cuirasses,  and  lace, 
Who  to  tricksters  and  fools  leaves  the  State  and  its  treasure, 
And,  while  Britain's  in  tears,  sails  about  at  his  pleasure," 

was  styled,  as  we  all  know,  "the  First  Gentleman  in 
Europe."  I  forget  if  I  have  previously  narrated  the 
following  instance  of  gentlemanlike  conduct.  If  I  have, 
it  will  bear  repetition.  The  late  Lord  Charles  Russell 
(1807-1894),  when  a  youth  of  eighteen,  had  just  received 
a  commission  in  the  Blues,  and  was  commanded,  with 
the  rest  of  his  regiment,  to  a  full-dress  ball  at  Carlton 
House,  where  the  King  then  held  his  Court.  Unluckily 
for  his  peace  of  mind,  the  young  subaltern  dressed  at  his 
father's  house,  and,  not  being  used  to  the  splendid  par- 
aphernalia of  the  Blues'  full  dress,  he  omitted  to  put  on 
his  aiguillette.  Arrived  at  Carlton  House,  the  company, 
before  they  could  enter  the  ball-room,  had  to  advance  in 
single  file  along  a  corridor  in  which  the  old  King,  be- 
wigged  and  bestarred,  was  seated  on  a  sofa.  When  the 
hapless  youth  who  lacked  the  aiguillette  approached  the 
presence,  he  heard  a  very  high  voice  exclaim,  "  Who  is 
this  damned  fellow  ?"  Retreat  was  impossible,  and  there 
was  nothing  for  it  but  to  shuffle  on  and  try  to  pass  the 
King  without  further  rebuke.  Not  a  bit  of  it.  As  he 
neared  the  sofa  the  King  exclaimed,  "  Good-evening,  sir. 
I  suppose  you  are  the  regimental  doctor  ?"  and  the  im- 
perfectly accoutred  youth,  covered  with  confusion  as 
with  a  cloak,  fled  blushing  into  the  ball-room,  and  hid 
himself  from  further  observation.  And  yet  the  narrator 
of  this  painful  story  always  declared  that  George  IV. 
could  be  very  gracious  when  the  fancy  took  him  ;  that 

211 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

he  was  uniformly  kind  to  children  ;  and  that  on  public 
occasions  his  manner  was  the  perfection  of  kingly  cour- 
tesy. His  gorgeous  habits  and  profuse  expenditure 
made  him  strangely  popular.  The  people,  though  they 
detested  his  conduct,  thought  him  "  every  inch  a  King." 
Lord  Shaftesbury,  noting  in  his  diary  for  May  19,  1849, 
the  attempt  of  Hamilton  upon  the  Queen's  life,  writes  : 
"  The  profligate  George  IV.  passed  through  a  life  of  sel- 
fishness and  sin  without  a  single  proved  attempt  to  take 
it.  This  mild  and  virtuous  young  woman  has  four  times 
already  been  exposed  to  imminent  peril." 

The  careers  of  the  King's  younger  brothers  and  sisters 
would  fill  a  volume  of  ''queer  stories."  Of  the  Duke  of 
York,  Mr.  Goldwin  Smith  genially  remarks,  that  "  the 
only  meritorious  action  of  his  life  was  that  he  once  risked 
it  in  a  duel."  The  Duke  of  Clarence — Burns's  "Royal 
young  tarry-breeks  " — lived  in  disreputable  seclusion  till 
he  ascended  the  throne,  and  then  was  so  excited  by  his 
elevation  that  people  thought  he  was  going  mad.  The 
Duke  of  Cumberland  was  the  object  of  a  popular  detesta- 
tion, of  which  the  grounds  can  be  discovered  in  the  An- 
nual Register  for  1810.  The  Duke  of  Sussex  made  two 
marriages  in  defiance  of  the  Royal  Marriage  Act,  and 
took  a  political  part  as  active  on  the  Liberal  side  as  that 
of  the  Duke  of  Cumberland  among  the  Tories.  The 
Duke  of  Cambridge  is  chiefiy  remembered  by  his  gro- 
tesque habit  (recorded,  by  the  way,  in  Happy  Thoughts) 
of  making  loud  responses  of  his  own  invention  to  the 
service  in  church.  "Let  us  pray,"  said  the  clergyman. 
"  By  all  means,"  said  the  Duke.  The  clergyman  begins 
the  prayer  for  rain.  The  Duke  exclaims  :  "  No  good  as 
long  as  the  wind  is  in  the  east." 

Clergymayi :  "  '  Zacchseus  stood  forth  and  said.  Behold, 
Lord,  the  half  of  my  goods  I  give  to  the  poor.'" 

Duke :  "Too  much,  too  much  ;  don't  mind  tithes,  but 

212 


"PRINCEDOMS,    VIRTUES,    POWERS" 

can't  stand  that."  To  two  of  the  Commandments,  which 
I  decline  to  discriminate,  the  Duke's  responses  were : 
"  Quite  right,  quite  right,  but  very  difficult  sometimes  "; 
and  "No,  no  !     It  was  my  brother  Ernest  did  that." 

Those  who  care  to  pursue  these  curious  byways  of  not 
very  ancient  history  are  referred  to  the  unfailing  Gre- 
ville  ;  to  Lady  Anne  Hamilton's  Secret  History  of  the 
Court  of  England  ;  and  to  the  Recollections  of  a  Lady  of 
Quality,  commonly  ascribed  to  the  late  Lady  Charlotte 
Bury.  The  closer  our  acquaintance  with  the  manners 
and  habits  of  the  last  age,  even  in  what  are  called  "  the 
highest  circles,"  the  more  wonderful  will  appear  the 
social  transformation  which  dates  from  Her  Majesty's  ac- 
cession. Thackeray  spoke  the  words  of  truth  and  sober- 
ness when,  after  describing  the  virtues  and  the  limita- 
tions of  George  III.,  he  said  :  "I  think  we  acknowledge 
in  the  inheritrix  of  his  sceptre  a  wiser  rule  and  a  life  as 
honorable  and  pure ;  and  I  am  sure  that  the  future 
painter  of  our  manners  will  pay  a  willing  allegiance  to 
that  good  life,  and  be  loyal  to  the  memory  of  that  unsul- 
lied virtue." 

For  the  earlier  years  of  the  Queen's  reign  Greville 
continues  to  be  a  fairly  safe  guide,  though  his  footing  at 
the  palace  was  by  no  means  so  intimate  as  it  had  been  in 
the  roystering  days  of  George  IV.  and  William  IV.  Of 
course.  Her  Majesty's  own  volumes  and  Sir  Theodore 
Martin's  Life  of  the  Prince  Consort  are  of  primary  au- 
thority. Interesting  glimpses  are  to  be  caught  in  the 
first  volume  of  Bishop  Wilberforce's  Life,  ere  yet  his  ter- 
giversation in  the  matter  of  Bishop  Hampden  had  for- 
feited the  Royal  favor ;  and  the  historian  of  the  future 
will  probably  make  great  use  of  the  Letters  of  Sarah  Lady 
Lyttelton — Governess  to  the  Queen's  children — which, 
being  printed  for  private  circulation,  are  unluckily  with- 
held from  the  present  generation. 

213 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

A  rather  pleasing  instance  of  the  ultra-German  eti- 
quette fomented  by  Prince  Albert  was  told  me  by  an  eye- 
witness of  the  scene.  The  Prime  Minister  and  his  wife 
were  dining  at  Buckingham  Palace  very  shortly  after 
they  had  received  an  addition  to  their  family.  When  the 
ladies  retired  to  the  drawing-room  after  dinner,  the 
Queen  said  most  kindly  to  the  Premier's  wife,  "  I  know 

you  are  not  very  strong  yet,  Lady ;  so  I  beg  you  will 

sit  down.     And,  when  the  Prince  comes  in,  Lady  D 

shall  stand  in  front  of  you."  This  device  of  screening  a 
breach  of  etiquette  by  hiding  it  behind  the  portly  figure 
of  a  British  Matron  always  struck  me  as  extremely  droll. 

Courtly  etiquette,  with  the  conditions  out  of  which  it 
springs  and  its  effect  upon  the  character  of  those  who  are 
subjected  to  it,  has,  of  course,  been  a  favorite  theme  of 
satirists  time  oat  of  mind,  and  there  can  scarcely  be  a 
more  fruitful  one.  There  are  no  heights  to  which  it  does 
not  rise,  nor  depths  to  which  it  does  not  sink.  In  the 
service  for  the  Queen's  Accession  the  Christological 
Psalms  are  boldly  transferred  to  the  Sovereign  by  the 
calm  substitution  of  "her"  for  "Him."  A  few  years 
back — I  do  not  know  if  it  is  so  now — I  noticed  that  in 
the  prayer-books  in  St.  George's  Chapel  at  Windsor  all 
the  pronouns  which  referred  to  the  Holy  Trinity  were 
spelled  with  small  letters,  and  those  which  referred  to  the 
Queen  with  capitals.  So  much  for  the  heights  of  eti- 
quette, and  for  its  depths  we  will  go  to  Thackeray's  ac- 
count of  an  incident  stated  to  have  occurred  on  the  birth 
of  the  Duke  of  Connaught  : 

"  Lord  John  he  next  alights, 

And  who  comes  here  in  haste  ? 
The  Hero  of  a  Hundred  Fights, 
The  caudle  for  to  taste. 

"  Then  Mrs.  Lily  the  nuss. 

Towards  them  steps  with  joy  ; 
214 


"PRINCEDOMS,    VIRTUES,    POWERS" 

Says  the  brave  old  Duke,  '  Come  tell  to  us, 
Is  it  a  gal  or  boy  ?' 

"  Says  Mrs.  L.  to  the  Duke, 
'Your  Grace,  it  is  a  Prince.^ 
And  at  that  nurse's  bold  rebuke 
He  did  both  laugh  and  wince." 

Such  was  the  etiquette  of  the  Royal  nursery  in  1850 ; 
but  little  Princes,  even  though  ushered  into  the  world 
under  such  very  impressive  circumstances,  grow  up  into 
something  not  very  unlike  other  little  boys  when  once 
they  go  to  school.  Of  course,  in  former  days  young 
Princes  were  educated  at  home  by  private  tutors.  This 
was  the  education  of  the  Queen^s  uncles  and  of  her  sons. 
A  very  different  experience  has  been  permitted  to  her 
grandsons.  The  Prince  of  Wales's  boys,  as  we  all  re- 
member, were  middies ;  Princess  Christian's  sons  were 
at  Wellington ;  Prince  Arthur  of  Connaught  is  at  Eton. 
There  he  is  to  be  joined  next  year  by  the  little  Duke  of 
Albany,  who  is  now  at  a  private  school  in  the  New  For- 
est. He  has  among  his  school-fellows  his  cousin  Prince 
Alexander  of  Battenberg,  of  whom  a  delightful  story  is 
current  just  now.  Like  many  other  little  boys,  he  ran 
short  of  pocket-money,  and  wrote  an  ingenious  letter  to 
his  august  Grandmother  asking  for  some  slight  pecuniary 
assistance.  He  received  in  return  a  just  rebuke,  telling 
him  that  little  boys  should  keep  within  their  limits,  and 
that  he  must  wait  till  his  allowance  next  became  due. 
Shortly  afterwards  the  undefeated  little  Prince  resumed 
the  correspondence  in  something  like  the  following  form  : 
"My  dear  Grandmamma, — I  am  sure  you  will  be  glad  to 
know  that  I  need  not  trouble  you  for  any  money  just 
now,  for  I  sold  your  last  letter  to  another  boy  here  for 
30s." 

As  Royalty  emerges  from  infancy  and  boyhood  into 

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COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

the  vulgar  and  artificial  atmosphere  of  the  grown-up 
world,  it  is  daily  and  hourly  exposed  to  such  sycophancy 
that  Royal  persons  acquire,  quite  unconsciously,  a  habit 
of  regarding  every  subject  in  heaven  and  earth  in  its  re- 
lation to  themselves.  An  amusing  instance  of  this  oc- 
curred a  few  years  ago  on  an  occasion  when  one  of  our 
most  popular  Princesses  expressed  a  gracious  wish  to 
present  a  very  smart  young  gentleman  to  the  Queen. 
This  young  man  had  a  remarkably  good  opinion  of  him- 
self ;  was  the  eldest  son  of  a  peer,  and  a  Member  of  Par- 
liament ;  and  it  happened  that  he  was  also  related  to  a 
lady  who  belonged  to  one  of  the  Royal  Households.  So 
the  Princess  led  the  young  exquisite  to  the  august  pres- 
ence, and  then  sweetly  said,  "  I  present  Mr.  ,  who 

is" — not  Lord  A.'s  eldest  son  or  Member  for  Loamshire, 
but — "  nephew  to  dear  Aunt  Cambridge's  lady."  My 
young  friend  told  me  that  he  had  never  till  that  moment 
realized  how  completely  he  lacked  a  position  of  his  own 
in  the  universe  of  created  being. 


XXIII 
LORD   BEACONSFIELD 

Archbishop  Tait  wrote  on  February  11,  1877  :  "  At- 
tended this  week  the  opening  of  Parliament,  the  Queen 
being  present,  and  wearing  for  the  first  time,  some  one 
says,  her  crown  as  Empress  of  India.  Lord  Beaconsfield 
was  on  her  left  side,  holding  aloft  the  Sword  of  State. 
At  five  the  House  again  was  crammed  to  see  him  take  his 
seat ;  and  Slingsby  Bethell,  equal  to  the  occasion,  read 
aloud  the  writ  in  very  distinct  tones.  All  seemed  to  be 
founded  on  the  model,  'What  shall  be  done  to  the  man 
whom  the  king  delighteth  to  honor  ?'  " 

Je  ne  suis  pas  la  rose,  mats  fai  vecu  prh  d'elle.  For 
the  last  month*  our  thoughts  have  been  fixed  upon  the 
Queen  to  the  exclusion  of  all  else.  But  now  the  regal 
splendors  of  the  Jubilee  have  faded.  The  majestic  theme 
is,  in  fact,  exhausted ;  and  we  turn,  by  a  natural  tran- 
sition, from  the  Royal  Rose  to  its  subservient  primrose ; 
from  the  wisest  of  Sovereigns  to  the  wiliest  of  Premiers  ; 
from  the  character,  habits,  and  life  of  the  Queen  to  the 
personality  of  that  extraordinary  child  of  Israel  who, 
though  he  was  not  the  Rose,  lived  uncommonly  near  it ; 
and  who,  more  than  any  other  Minister  before  or  since 
his  day,  contrived  to  identify  himself  in  the  public  view 
with  the  Crown  itself.  There  is  nothing  invidious  in 
this  use  of  a  racial  term.     It  was  one  of  Lord  Beacons- 


*JuDe,  1897. 
317 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

field's  finest  qualities  that  he  labored  all  through  his  life 
to  make  his  race  glorious  and  admired.  To  a  Jewish  boy 
— a  friend  of  my  own — who  was  presented  to  him  in  his 
old  age  he  said  :  "  You  and  I  belong  to  a  race  which  can 
do  everything  but  fail." 

Is  Lord  Beaconsfield's  biography  ever  to  be  given  to 
the  world  ?  Not  in  our  time,  at  any  rate,  if  we  may 
judge  by  the  signs.  Perhaps  Lord  Eowton  finds  it  more 
convenient  to  live  on  the  vague  but  splendid  anticipa- 
tions of  future  success  than  on  the  admitted  and  definite 
failure  of  a  too  cautious  book.  Perhaps  he  finds  his  per- 
sonal dignity  enhanced  by  those  mysterious  Sittings  to 
AVindsor  and  Osborne,  where  he  is  understood  to  be  com- 
paring manuscripts  and  revising  proofs  with  an  Illus- 
trious Personage.  But  there  is  the  less  occasion  to 
lament  Lord  Rowton's  tardiness,  because  we  already  pos- 
sess Mr.  Fronde's  admirable  monograph  on  Lord  Beacons- 
field  in  the  series  of  The  Queen's  Prime  Ministers,  and 
an  extremely  clear-sighted  account  of  his  relations  with 
the  Crown  in  Mr.  Reginald  Brett's  Yo^e  of  Empire. 

My  present  purpose  is  not  controversial.  I  do  not  in- 
tend to  estimate  the  soundness  of  Lord  Beaconsfield's 
opinions  or  the  permanent  value  of  his  political  work. 
It  is  enough  to  recall  what  the  late  German  Ambassa- 
dor— Count  Miinster — related  to  me  after  the  Congress 
of  Berlin,  and  what,  in  a  curtailed  form,  has  been  so 
often  quoted.  Prince  Bismarck  said:  "1  think  nothing 
of  their  Lord  Salisbury.  He  is  only  a  lath  painted  to 
look  like  iron.  But  that  old  Jew  means  business."  This 
is  merely  a  parenthesis.  I  am  at  present  concerned  only 
with  Lord  Beaconsfield's  personal  traits.  When  I  first 
encountered  him  he  was  already  an  old  man.  He  had 
left  far  behind  those  wonderful  days  of  the  black  velvet 
dress -coat  lined  with  white  satin,  the  "gorgeous  gold 
flowers  on  a  splendidly  embroidered  waistcoat,"  the  jew-, 

218 


LORD    BEACONSFIELD 

elled  rings  worn  ontside  the  white  gloves,  the  evening 
cane  of  ivory  inlaid  with  gold  and  adorned  with  a  tassel 
of  black  silk.  "  We  were  none  of  us  fools,"  said  one  of 
his  most  brilliant  contemporaries,  "  and  each  man  talked 
his  best ;  but  we  all  agreed  that  the  cleverest  fellow  in 
the  party  was  the  young  Jew  in  the  green  velvet  trou- 
sers." Considerably  in  the  background,  too,  were  the 
grotesque  performances  of  his  middle  life,  when,  making 
up  for  the  character  of  a  country  gentleman,  he  "rode 
an  Arabian  mare  for  thirty  miles  across  country  without 
stopping,"  attended  Quarter  Sessions  in  drab  breeches 
and  gaiters,  and  wandered  about  the  lanes  round  Hugh- 
enden  pecking  up  primroses  with  a  spud. 

When  I  first  saw  Mr.  Disraeli,  as  he  then  was,  all 
these  follies  were  matters  of  ancient  history.  They  had 
played  their  part  and  were  discarded.  He  was  dressed 
much  like  other  gentlemen  of  the  Sixties — in  a  black 
frock  coat,  gray  or  drab  trousers,  a  waistcoat  cut  rather 
low,  and  a  black  cravat  which  went  once  roijnd  the  neck 
and  was  tied  in  a  loose  bow.  In  the  country  his  costume 
was  a  little  more  adventurous.  A  black  velveteen  jacket, 
a  colored  waistcoat,  a  Tyrolese  hat,  lent  picturesque  in- 
cident and  variety  to  his  appearance.  But  the  brilliant 
colors  were  reserved  for  public  occasions.  I  never  saw 
him  look  better  than  in  his  peer's  robes  of  scarlet  and 
ermine  when  he  took  his  seat  in  the  House  of  Lords,  or 
more  amazing  than  when,  tightly  buttoned  up  in  the 
Privy  Councillor's  uniform  of  blue  and  gold,  he  stood 
in  the  "general  circle"  at  the  Drawing-room  or  Levee. 
In  his  second  Administration  he  looked  extraordinarily 
old.  His  form  was  shrunk,  and  his  face  of  a  death-like 
pallor.  Ever  since  an  illness  in  early  manhood  he  had 
always  dyed  his  hair,  and  the  contrast  between  the  arti- 
ficial blackness  and  the  natural  paleness  was  extremely 
startling.     The  one  sign  of  vitality  which  his  appear- 

219 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

iiuce  presented  was  the  brilliancy  of  his  dark  eyes,  which 
still  flashed  with  penetrating  lustre. 

The  immense  powers  of  conversation  of  which  we  read 
so  much  in  his  early  days,  when  he  "  talked  like  a  race- 
horse approaching  the  winning-post,"  and  held  the  whole 
company  spellbound  by  his  tropical  eloquence,  had  utterly 
vanished.  He  seemed,  as  he  was,  habitually  oppressed 
by  illness  or  discomfort.  He  sat  for  hours  together  in 
moody  silence.  When  he  opened  his  lips  it  was  to  pay 
an  elaborate  (and  sometimes  misplaced)  compliment  to  a 
lady,  or  to  utter  an  epigrammatic  judgment  on  men  or 
books,  which  recalled  the  conversational  triumphs  of  his 
prime.  Skill  in  phrasemaking  was  perhaps  the  literary 
gift  which  he  most  admired.  In  a  conversation  with  Mr. 
Matthew  Arnold  shortly  before  his  death  he  said,  with 
a  touch  of  pathos:  ''You  are  a  fortunate  man.  The 
young  men  read  you  ;  they  no  longer  read  me.  And  you 
have  invented  phrases  which  every  one  quotes  —  such  as 
'Philistinism'  and  'Sweetness  and  light.'"  It  was  a 
characteristic  compliment,  for  he  dearly  loved  a  good 
phrase.  From  the  necessities  of  his  position  as  a  fighting 
politician,  his  own  best  performances  in  that  line  were 
sarcasms ;  and  indeed  sarcasm  was  the  gift  in  which, 
from  first  to  last,  in  public  and  in  private,  in  writing  and 
in  speaking,  he  peculiarly  excelled.  To  recall  the  in- 
stances would  be  to  rewrite  his  political  novels  and  to 
transcribe  those  attacks  on  Sir  Robert  Peel  which  made 
his  fame  and  fortune. 

It  was  my  good  fortune  when  quite  a  boy  to  be  present 
at  the  debates  in  the  House  of  Commons  on  the  Tory 
Reform  Bill  of  1867.  Never  were  Mr.  Disraeli's  gifts 
of  sarcasm,  satire,  and  ridicule  so  freely  displayed,  and 
never  did  they  find  so  responsive  a  subject  as  Mr.  Glad- 
stone. As  school-boys  say,  "he  rose  freely."  The  Bill 
was  read  a  second  time  without  a  division,  but  in  Com- 

220 


LORD    BEACONSFIELD 

mittee  the  fun  waxed  fast  and  furious,  and  was  marked 
by  the  liveliest  encounters  between  the  Leader  of  the 
House  and  the  Leader  of  the  Opposition.  At  the  con- 
clusion of  one  of  these  passages  of  arms  Mr.  Disraeli 
gravely  congratulated  himself  on  having  such  a  substan- 
tial piece  of  furniture  as  the  table  of  the  House  between 
himself  and  his  energetic  opponent.  In  May,  1867,  Lord 
Houghton  writes  thus  :  "I  met  Gladstone  at  breakfast. 
He  seems  quite  awed  with  the  diabolical  cleverness  of 
Dizzy,  who,  he  says,  is  gradually  driving  all  ideas  of  po- 
litical honor  out  of  the  House,  and  accustoming  it  to  the 
most  revolting  cynicism."  Was  it  cynicism,  or  some  re- 
lated but  more  agreeable  quality,  which  suggested  Mr. 
Disraeli's  reply  to  the  wealthy  manufacturer,  newly  ar- 
rived in  the  House  of  Commons,  who  complimented  him 
on  his  novels  ?  ''I  can't  say  Fve  read  them  myself. 
Novels  are  not  in  my  line.  But  my  daughters  tell  me 
they  are  uncommonly  good."  "  Ah,"  said  the  Leader  of 
the  House,  in  his  deepest  note,  ''this,  indeed,  is  fame." 
The  mention  of  novels  reminds  me  of  a  story  which  I 
heard  twenty  years  ago,  when  Mr.  Mallock  produced  his 
first  book — the  admirable  Neio  Republic.  A  lady  who  was 
his  constant  friend  and  benefactress  begged  Lord  Beacons- 
field  to  read  the  book  and  say  something  civil  about  it. 
The  Prime  Minister  replied  with  a  groan :  "Ask  me  any- 
thing, dear  lady,  except  this.  I  am  an  old  man.  Do 
not  make  me  read  your  young  friends'  romances."  ''  Oh, 
but  he  would  be  a  great  accession  to  the  Tory  party,  and 
a  civil  word  from  you  would  secure  him  forever."  "Oh 
— well,  then,  give  me  a  pen  and  a  sheet  of  paper,"  and, 
sitting  down   in   the  lady's  drawing  -  room,  he  wrote  : 

"  Dear  Mrs. ,  — I  am  sorry  that  I  cannot  dine  with 

yon,  but  I  am  going  down  to  Hughenden  for  a  week. 
Would  that  my  solitude  could  be  peopled  by  the  bright 
creations  of  Mr.  Mallock's  fancy."     "Will  that  do  for 

221 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

your  young  friend  ?"  Surely,  as  an  appreciation  of  a 
book  which  one  has  not  read,  this  is  absolutely  perfect. 

When  Lord  Beaconsfield  was  driven  from  office  by  the 
General  Election  of  1880,  one  of  his  supporters  in  the 
House  of  Commons  begged  a  great  favor — "  May  I  bring 
my  boy  to  see  you,  and  will  you  give  him  some  word  of 
counsel  which  he  may  treasure  all  his  life  as  the  utter- 
ance of  the  greatest  Englishman  who  ever  lived  ?"  Lord 
Beaconsfield  groaned,  but  consented.  On  the  appointed 
day  the  proud  father  presented  himself  with  his  young 
hopeful  in  Lord  Beaconsfield's  presence.  "  My  dear 
young  friend,"  said  the  statesman,  "  your  good  papa  has 
asked  me  to  give  you  a  word  of  counsel  which  may  serve 
you  all  your  life.  Never  ask  who  wrote  the  Letters  of 
Junius,  or  on  which  side  of  Whitehall  Charles  I.  was  be- 
headed ;  for  if  you  do  you  will  be  considered  a  bore — and 
that  is  something  too  dreadful  for  you  at  your  tender 
age  to  understand."  For  these  last  two  stories  I  by  no 
means  vouch.  They  belong  to  the  flotsam  and  jetsam  of 
ephemeral  gossip.  But  the  following,  which  I  regard 
as  eminently  characteristic,  I  had  from  Lord  Kandolph 
Churchill. 

Towards  the  end  of  Lord  Beaconsfield's  second  Pre- 
miership a  younger  politician  asked  the  Premier  to  din- 
ner. It  was  a  domestic  event  of  the  first  importance, 
and  no  pains  were  spared  to  make  the  entertainment  a 
success.  When  the  ladies  retired,  the  host  came  and  sat 
where  the  hostess  had  been,  next  to  his  distinguished 
guest.  "^  Will  you  have  some  more  claret.  Lord  Beacons- 
field ?"  "  No,  thank  you,  my  dear  fellow.  It  is  admir- 
able wine — true  Falernian — but  I  have  already  exceeded 
my  prescribed  quantity,  and  the  gout  holds  me  in  its 
horrid  clutch."  When  the  party  had  broken  up,  the 
host  and  hostess  were  talking  it  over.  "I  think  the 
chief  enjoyed  himself,"  said  the  host,  ''and  I  know  he 

222 


LORD    BEACONSFIELD 

liked  his  claret."  "Claret!"  exclaimed  the  hostess; 
"  why,  he  drank  brandy-and-water  all  dinner-time." 

I  said  in  an  earlier  paragraph  that  Lord  Beaconsfield's 
flattery  was  sometimes  misplaced.  An  instance  recurs  to 
my  recollection.  He  was  staying  in  a  country  house 
where  the  whole  party  was  Conservative  with  the  excep- 
tion of  one  rather  plain,  elderly  lady,  who  belonged  to  a 
great  Whig  family.  The  Tory  leader  was  holding  forth 
on  politics  to  an  admiring  circle  when  the  Whig  lady 
came  into  the  room.  Pausing  in  his  conversation,  Lord 
Beaconsfield  exclaimed,  in  his  most  histrionic  manner, 
*'But,  hush  !  We  must  not  continue  these  Tory  heresies 
until  those  pretty  little  ears  have  been  covered  up  with 
those  pretty  little  hands" — a  strange  remark  under  any 
circumstances,  and  stranger  still  if,  as  his  friends  be- 
lieved, it  was  honestly  intended  as  an  acceptable  com- 
pliment. 

Mr.  Brett,  who  shows  a  curious  sympathy  with  the 
personal  character  of  Lord  Beaconsfield,  acquits  him  of 
the  charge  of  flattery,  and  quotes  his  own  description  of 
his  method  :  "I  never  contradict ;  I  never  deny ;  but  I 
sometimes  forget,"  On  the  other  hand,  it  has  always 
been  asserted  by  those  who  had  the  best  opportunities  of 
personal  observation  that  Lord  Beaconsfield  succeeded 
in  converting  the  dislike  with  which  he  had  once  been 
regarded  in  the  highest  quarters  into  admiration  and 
even  affection,  by  his  elaborate  and  studied  acquiescence 
in  every  claim,  social  or  political,  of  Royalty,  and  by  his 
unflagging  perseverance  in  the  art  of  flattery.  He  was  a 
courtier,  not  by  birth  or  breeding,  but  by  genius.  What 
could  be  more  skilful  than  the  inclusion  of  Leaves  from 
the  Journal  of  our  Life  in  the  Highlands  with  Coningshy 
and  Sybil  in  the  phrase  "  We  authors"  ? — than  his  grave 
declaration,  "Your  Majesty  is  the  head  of  the  literary 
profession  " — than  his  announcement  at  the  dinner-table 

223 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

at  Windsor,  with  reference  to  some  disputed  point  of 
regal  genealogy,  **  We  are  in  the  presence  of  probably 
the  only  Person  in  Europe  who  could  tell  us  "  ?  In  the 
last  year  of  his  life  he  said  to  Mr.  Matthew  Arnold,  in  a 
strange  burst  of  confidence  which  showed  how  complete- 
ly he  realized  that  his  fall  from  power  was  final :  "  You 
have  heard  me  accused  of  being  a  flatterer.  It  is  true. 
I  am  a  flatterer.  I  have  found  it  useful.  Every  one  likes 
flattery ;  and  when  you  come  to  Royalty  you  should  lay 
it  on  with  a  trowel."  As  a  courtier  Lord  Beaconsfield 
excelled.  Once,  sitting  at  dinner  by  the  Princess  of 
Wales,  he  was  trying  to  cut  a  hard  dinner  -  roll.  The 
knife  slipped  and  cut  his  finger,  which  the  Princess,  with 
her  natural  grace,  instantly  wrapped  up  in  her  handker- 
chief. The  old  gentleman  gave  a  dramatic  groan,  and 
exclaimed,  "  I  asked  for  bread  and  they  gave  me  a  stone ; 
but  I  had  a  Princess  to  bind  my  wounds." 

The  atmosphere  of  a  Court  naturally  suited  him,  and 
he  had  a  quaint  trick  of  transferring  the  grandiose  no- 
menclature of  palaces  to  his  own  very  modest  domain  of 
Hughenden.  He  called  his  simple  drawing-room  the  sa- 
loon ;  he  styled  his  pond  the  lake  ;  he  expatiated  on  the 
beauties  of  the  terrace  -  walks,  the  "  Golden  Gate,"  and 
the  '' German  Forest."  His  style  of  entertaining  was 
more  showy  than  comfortable.  Nothing  could  excel  the 
grandeur  of  his  state  coach  and  powdered  footmen  ;  but 
when  the  ice  at  dessert  came  up  melting,  one  of  his  friends 
exclaimed,  "At  last,  my  dear  Dizzy,  we  have  got  some- 
thing hot "  ;  and  in  the  days  when  he  was  Chancellor  of 
the  Exchequer  some  critical  guest  remarked  of  the  soup 
that  it  was  apparently  made  with  Deferred  Stock.  When 
Lady  Beaconsfield  died  he  sent  for  his  agent  and  said : 
"1  desire  that  Her  Ladyship's  remains  should  be  borne 
to  the  grave  by  the  tenants  of  the  estate."  Presently  the 
agent  came  back  with  a  troubled  countenance  and  said, 

224 


LORD    BEACONSFIELD 

"  I  regret  to  say  there  are  not  tenants  enough  to  carry  a 
coffin." 

Lord  Beaconsfield's  last  years  were  tormented  by  a 
bronchial  asthma  of  gouty  origin,  against  which  he  fought 
with  tenacious  and  uncomplaining  courage.  The  last 
six  weeks  of  his  life,  described  all  too  graphically  by 
Dr.  Kidd  in  an  article  in  the  Nineteenth  Century,  were  a 
hand-to-hand  struggle  with  death.  Every  day  the  end 
was  expected,  and  his  early  compatriot,  companion,  and 
so-called  friend,  Bernal  Osborne,  found  it  in  his  heart  to 
remark,  *' Ah,  overdoing  it — as  he  always  overdid  every- 
thing." 

For  my  own  part,  I  never  was  numbered  among  Lord 
Beaconsfield's  friends,  and  I  regarded  the  Imperialistic 
and  pro-Turkish  policy  of  his  latter  days  with  an  equal 
measure  of  indignation  and  contempt.  But  I  place  his 
political  novels  among  the  masterpieces  of  Victorian  lit- 
erature, and  I  have  a  sneaking  affection  for  the  man  who 
wrote  the  following  passage  :  "We  live  in  an  age  when 
to  be  young  and  to  be  indifferent  can  be  no  longer  sy- 
nonymous. We  must  prepare  for  the  coming  hour.  The 
claims  of  the  Future  are  represented  by  suffering  mill- 
ions, and  the  Youth  of  a  Nation  are  the  Trustees  of  Pos- 
terity." 


XXIV 
FLATTEKERS   AND   BORES 

Can"  a  flatterer  be  flattered  ?  Does  he  instinctively 
recognize  the  commodity  in  which  he  deals  ?  And,  if 
he  does  so  recognize  it,  does  he  enjoy  or  dislike  the  ap- 
plication of  it  to  his  own  case  ?  These  questions  are 
suggested  to  my  mind  by  the  ungrudging  tribute  paid 
in  my  last  chapter  to  Lord  Beaconsfield's  pre-eminence 
in  the  art  of  flattery. 

"  Supreme  of  heroes,  bravest,  noblest,  best !" 

No  one  else  ever  flattered  so  long  and  so  much,  so  boldly 
and  so  persistently,  so  skilfully  and  with  such  success. 
And  it  so  happened  that  at  the  very  crisis  of  his  roman- 
tic career  he  became  the  subject  of  an  act  of  flattery 
quite  as  daring  as  any  of  his  own  performances  in  the 
same  line,  and  one  which  was  attended  with  diplomatic 
consequences  of  infinite  pith  and  moment. 

It  fell  out  on  this  wise.  When  the  Congress  of  the 
Powers  assembled  at  Berlin  in  the  summer  of  1878,  our 
Ambassador  in  that  city  of  stucco  palaces  was  the  loved 
and  lamented  Lord  Odo  Russell,  afterwards  Lord  Ampt- 
hill,  a  born  diplomatist  if  ever  there  was  one,  with  a 
suavity  and  affectionateness  of  manner  and  a  charm  of 
voice  which  would  have  enabled  him,  in  homely  phrase, 
to  whistle  the  bird  ofE  the  bough.  On  the  evening  be- 
fore the  formal  opening  of  the  Congress  Lord  Beacons- 
field  arrived  in  all  his  plenipotentiary  glory,  and  was  re- 

226 


FLATTERERS    AND    BORES 

ceived  with  high  honors  at  the  British  Embassy.  In  the 
course  of  the  evening  one  of  his  private  secretaries  came 
to  Lord  Odo  Russell  and  said:  ''Lord  Odo,  we  are  in  a 
frightful  mess,  and  we  can  only  turn  to  you  to  help  us 
out  of  it.  The  old  chief  has  determined  to  open  the 
proceedings  of  the  Congress  in  French.  He  has  written 
out  the  devil's  own  long  speech  in  French  and  learned 
it  by  heart,  and  is  going  to  fire  it  off  at  the  Congress  to- 
morrow. We  shall  be  the  laughing-stock  of  Europe. 
He  pronounces  epicier  as  if  it  rhymed  with  overseer,  and 
all  his  pronunciation  is  to  match.  It  is  as  much  as  our 
places  are  worth  to  tell  him  so  :  can  you  help  us  ?"  Lord 
Odo  listened  with  amused  good  humor  to  this  tale  of 
woe,  and  then  replied  :  "  It  is  a  very  delicate  mission 
that  you  ask  me  to  undertake,  but  then  I  am  fond  of 
delicate  missions.  I  will  see  what  I  can  do."  And  so 
he  repaired  to  the  state  bedroom,  where  our  venerable 
Plenipotentiary  was  beginning  those  very  elaborate  proc- 
esses of  the  toilette  with  which  he  prepared  for  the 
couch.  "  My  dear  lord,"  began  Lord  Odo,  "  a  dread- 
ful rumor  has  reached  us."  "Indeed!  Pray  what  is 
it  ?"  "We  have  heard  that  you  intend  to  open  the  pro- 
ceedings to-morrow  in  French."  "Well,  Lord  Odo, 
what  of  that  ?"  "  Why,  of  course,  we  all  know  that  there 
is  no  one  in  Europe  more  competent  to  do  so  than  your- 
self. But  then,  after  all,  to  make  a  French  speech  is  a 
commonplace  accomplishment.  There  will  be  at  least 
half  a  dozen  men  at  the  Congress  who  could  do  it  almost, 
if  not  quite,  as  well  as  yourself.  But,  on  the  other 
hand,  who  but  you  can  make  an  English  speech  ?  All 
these  Plenipotentiaries  have  come  from  the  various  Courts 
of  Europe  expecting  the  greatest  intellectual  treat  of 
their  lives  in  hearing  English  spoken  by  its  greatest 
living  master.  The  question  for  you,  my  dear  lord,  is — 
Will  you   disappoint  them  ?"    Lord    Beaconsfield   put 

227 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

his  glass  in  his  eye,  fixed  his  gaze  on  Lord  Odo,  and  then 
said  :  "  There  is  much  force  in  what  you  say.  I  will 
consider  the  point."  And  next  day  he  ojiened  the  pro- 
ceedings in  English.  Now  the  psychological  conundrum 
is  this — Did  he  swallow  the  flattery,  and  honestly  believe 
that  the  object  of  Lord  Odo's  appeal  was  to  have  the 
pleasure  of  hearing  him  speak  English  ?  Or  did  he  see 
through  the  manoeuvre,  and  recognize  a  polite  intima- 
tion that  a  French  speech  from  him  would  throw  an  air 
of  comedy  over  all  the  proceedings  of  the  Congress,  and 
perhaps  kill  it  with  ridicule  ?  The  problem  is  well  fitted 
to  be  made  the  subject  of  a  Prize  Essay  ;  but  personally 
I  incline  to  believe  that  he  saw  through  the  manoeuvre 
and  acted  on  the  hint.  If  this  be  the  true  reading  of 
the  case,  the  answer  to  my  opening  question  is  that  the 
'^flatterer  cannot  be  fiattered. 

We  saw  in  my  last  paper  how  careful  Lord  Beaconsfield 
Avas,  in  the  great  days  of  his  political  struggles,  to  flatter 
every  one  who  came  within  his  reach.  To  the  same  ef- 
fect is  the  story  that  when  he  was  accosted  by  any  one 
who  claimed  acquaintance  but  whose  face  he  had  forgot- 
ten he  always  used  to  inquire,  in  a  tone  of  affectionate 

^  solicitude,  "  And  how  is  the  old  complaint  ?"  But 
when  he  grew  older,  and  had  attained  the  highest  ob- 
jects of  his  political  ambition,  these  little  arts,  having 
served  their  purpose,  were  discarded,  like  the  green  vel- 
vet trousers  and  tasselled  canes  of  his  aspiring  youth. 
There  was  no  more  use  for  them,  and  they  were  dropped. 

/  He  manifested  less  and  less  of  the  apostolic  virtue  of  suf- 
fering bores  gladly  ;  and,  though  always  delightful  to  his 
intimate  friends,  he  was  less  and  less  inclined  to  curry 
''  favor  with  mere  acquaintances.  A  characteristic  instance 
of  this  later  manner  has  been  given  to  the  world  in  a 
book  of  chit-chat  by  a  prosy  gentleman  whose  name  it 
would  be  unkind  to  recall. 

228 


FLATTERERS    AND    BORES 

This  worthy  soul  narrates  with  artless  candor  that 
towards  the  end  of  Lord  Beaconsfield's  second  Adminis- 
tration he  had  the  honor  of  dining  with  the  great  man, 
whose  political  follower  he  was,  at  his  official  residence 
in  Downing  Street.  When  he  arrived  he  found  his  host 
looking  ghastly  ill,  and  apparently  incapable  of  speech. 
He  made  some  commonplace  remark  about  the  weather 
or  the  House,  and  the  only  reply  was  a  dismal  groan.  A 
second  remark  was  similarly  received,  and  the  visitor 
then  abandoned  the  attempt  in  despair.  "  I  felt  he 
would  not  survive  the  night.  Within  a  quarter  of  an 
hour,  all  being  seated  at  dinner,  I  observed  him  talking 
to  the  Austrian  Ambassador  with  extreme  vivacity.  Dur- 
ing the  whole  of  dinner  their  conversation  was  kept  up  ; 
I  saw  no  sign  of  flagging.  This  is  difficult  to  accoutit 
for."  And  the  worthy  man  goes  on  to  theorize  about 
the  cause,  and  suggests  that  Lord  Beaconsfield  was  in 
the  habit  of  taking  doses  of  opium  which  were  so  timed 
that  their  effect  passed  off  at  a  certain  moment ! 

This  freedom  from  self-knowledge  which  bores  enjoy  is 
one  of  their  most  striking  characteristics.  One  of  the 
principal  clubs  in  Pall  Mall  has  the  misfortune  to  be  fre- 
quented by  a  gentleman  who  is  by  common  consent  the 
greatest  bore  and  button-holer  in  London.  He  always 
reminds  me  of  the  philosopher  described  by  Sir  George 
Trevelyan,  who  used  to  wander  about  asking  "  Why  are 
'''  we  created  ?  Whither  do  we  tend  ?  Have  we  an  inner 
consciousness  ?"  till  all  his  friends,  when  they  saw  him 
from  afar,  used  to  exclaim  :  "  Why  was  Tompkins  crea- 
ted ?  Is  he  tending  this  way  ?  Has  he  an  inner  con- 
sciousness that  he  is  a  bore  ?" 

Well,  a  few  years  ago  this  good  man,  on  his  return 
from  his  autumn  holiday,  was  telling  all  his  acquaint- 
ances at  the  club  that  he  had  been  occupying  a  house  at 
the  Lakes  not  far  from  Mr.  Ruskin,  who,  he  added,  was 

229 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

in  a  very  melancholy  state.  "  I  am  truly  sorry  for  that/' 
said  one  of  his  hearers.  "  What  is  the  matter  with  him  ?" 
"Well/'  replied  the  bntton-holer,  "I  was  walking  one 
day  in  the  lane  which  separated  Ruskin's  house  from 
mine,  and  I  saw  him  coming  down  the  lane  towards  me. 
The  moment  he  caught  sight  of  me  he  darted  into  a  wood 
which  was  close  by,  and  hid  behind  a  tree  till  I  had  pass- 
ed. Oh,  very  sad  indeed."  But  the  truly  pathetic  part 
of  it  was  one's  consciousness  that  what  Mr.  Ruskin  did 
we  should  all  have  done,  and  that  not  all  the  trees  in 
Birnam  Wood  and  the  Forest  of  Arden  combined  would 
have  hidden  the  multitude  of  brother  -  clubmen  who 
sought  to  avoid  the  narrator. 

The  faculty  of  boring  belongs,  unhappily,  to  no  one 

y  period  of  life.  Age  cannot  wither  it,  nor  custom  stale 
its  infinite  variety.  Middle  life  is  its  heyday.  Perhaps 
infancy  is  free  from  it,  but  I  strongly  suspect  that  it  is  a 
form  of  original  sin,  and  shows  itself  very  early.  Boys 
are  notoriously  rich  in  it ;  with  them  it  takes  two  forms, 
the  loquacious  and  the  awkward  ;  and  in  some  excep- 
tionally favored  cases  the  two  forms  are  combined.  I 
once  was  talking  with  an  eminent  educationist  about 
the  characteristic  qualities  produced  by  various  Public 
Schools,  and  when  I  asked  him  what  Harrow  produced 
he  replied:  "A  certain  shy  bumptiousness."     It  was  a 

-  judgment  which  wrung  my  Harrovian  withers,  but  of 
which  I  could  not  dispute  the  truth. 

One  of  the  forms  which  shyness  takes  in  boyhood  is 
an  inability  to  get  up  and  go.  When  Dr.  Vaughan  was 
Head  Master  of  Harrow,  and  had  to  entertain  his  boys 
at  breakfast,  this  inability  was  frequently  manifested, 
and  was  met  by  the  Doctor  in  a  most  characteristic  fash- 
ion. When  the  muffins  and  sausages  had  been  devour- 
ed, the  perfunctory  inquiries  about  the  health  of  "your 
people"  made  and  answered,  and  all  permissible  school- 

230 


FLATTERERS    AND    BORES 

topics  discussed,  there  used  to  ensue  a  horrid  silence, 
while  *'  Dr.  Blimber's  young  friends  "  sat  tightly  glued 
to  their  chairs.  Then  the  Doctor  would  approach  with 
cat-like  softness,  and,  extending  his  hand  to  the  shyest 
and  most  loutish  boy,  would  say,  "  Must  you  go  ?  Can't 
you  stay  ?"  and  the  party  broke  up  with  magical  celerity. 
Such  at  least  was  our  Harrovian  tradition. 

Nothing  is  so  refreshing  to  a  jaded  sense  of  humor  as 
to  be  the  recipient  of  one  of  your  own  stories  retold  you 
with  appreciative  fervor  but  with  all  the  point  left  out. 
This  was  my  experience  not  long  ago  with  reference  to 
the  story  of  Dr.  Vaughan  and  his  boy-bores  which  I  have 
just  related.  A  Dissenting  minister  was  telling  me,  with 
extreme  satisfaction,  that  he  had  a  son  at  Trinity  Col- 
lege, Cambridge.  He  went  on  to  praise  the  Master,  Dr. 
Butler,  whom  he  extolled  to  the  skies,  winding  up  his 
eulogy  with,  *'He  has  such  wonderful  tact  in  dealing 
with  shy  undergraduates."  I  began  to  scent  my  old  story 
from  afar,  but  held  my  peace  and  awaited  results.  "  You 
know,"  he  continued,  "  that  young  men  are  sometimes 
a  little  awkward  about  making  a  move  and  going  away 
when  a  party  is  over.  Well,  when  Dr.  Butler  has  under- 
graduates to  breakfast,  if  they  linger  inconveniently  long 
when  he  wants  to  be  busy,  he  has  such  a  happy  knack  of 
getting  rid  of  them.  It  is  so  tactful,  so  like  him.  He 
goes  up  to  one  of  them  and  says,  '  Can't  you  go  9  Must 
you  stay  f  and  they  are  off  immediately."  So,  as  Macau- 
lay  says  of  Montgomery's  literary  thefts,  may  such  ill-got 
gains  ever  prosper. 

My  Dissenting  minister  had   a  congener  in  the  late 

Lord   P ,  who   was   a   rollicking   man  about  town 

thirty  years  ago,  and  was  famous,  among  other  accom- 
plishments, for  this  peculiar  art  of  so  telling  a  story  as 
to  destroy  the  point.  When  the  two  large  houses  at  Al- 
bert Gate,  of  which  one  is  now  the  French  Embassy  and 

231 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

the  other  the  abode  of  Mr.  Arthur  Sassoon,  were  built, 
their  size  and  cost  were  regarded  as  prohibitive,  and 
some  wag  christened  them  "  Malta  and  Gibraltar,  be- 
cause they  can  never  be  taken."     Lord  P thought 

that  this  must  be  an  excellent  joke,  because  every  one 
laughed  at  it ;  and  so  he  ran  round  the  town  saying  to 
each  man  he  met :  "  I  say,  do  you  know  what  they  call 
those  houses  at  Albert  Gate  ?  They  call  them  Malta 
and  Gibraltar,  because  they  can  never  be  let.  Isn't  it 
awfully  good  ?"  We  all  remember  an  innocent  riddle  of 
our  childhood — "  Why  was  the  elephant  the  last  animal 
to  get  into  the  Ark  ?" — to  which  the  answer  was,  "  Be- 
cause he  had  to  pack  his  trunk."     Lord  P asked  the 

riddle,  and  gave  as  the  answer,  "  Because  he  had  to  pack 
his  portmanteau,"  and  was  beyond  measure  astonished 
when  his  hearers  did  not  join  in  his  uproarious  laughter. 

Poor  Lord   P !    he   was  a  fellow   of   infinite  jest, 

though  not  always  exactly  in  the  sense  that  he  intend- 
ed. If  he  had  only  known  of  it,  he  might  with  advan- 
tage have  resorted  to  the  conversational  device  of  old 
Samuel  Eogers,  who,  when  he  told  a  story  which  failed 
to  produce  a  laugh,  used  to  observe  in  a  reflective  tone, 
^  "  The  curious  part  of  that  story  is  that  stupid  people 
never  see  the  point  of  it";  and  then  loud,  though  be- 
lated, guffaws  resounded  round  the  table. 


XXV 

EPITAPHS 

"One  word  more,  and  I  have  done."  This  immemorial 
sentence,  the  unfailing  refuge  of  the  parliamentary  orator 
who  feels  that  he  is  boring  the  House,  I  now  apply  to  my 
dissertations  on  Lord  Beaconsfield.  "One  word  more" 
about  him,  "and  I  have  done."  Suitably  enough,  that 
one  word  relates  to  his  epitaph  ;  or,  to  speak  more  strict- 
ly, to  the  inscription  on  his  monument  in  Hughenden 
Church.    It  was  penned,  I  believe,  by  an  illustrious  hand: 

TO  THE  DEAR  AND  HONORED  MEMORY 

OF  BENJAMIN,  EARL  of  BEACONSFIELD, 

THIS  MEMORIAL  IS  PLACED  BY 

HIS  GRATEFUL  AND   AFFECTIONATE 

SOVEREIGN  AND  FRIEND, 

VICTORIA,  R.I. 

Kings  love  him  that  speaketh  right. — Prov.  xvi.  13 

When  this  tablet  was  erected,  the  memories  of  Lord 
Beaconsfield's  Eastern  policy  were  still  rankling  in  the 
minds  of  at  least  half  England,  and  there  were  critics 
who  observed  that  it  would  have  been  better  to  avoid  the 
too  obvious  inference  that  Queens  love  him  that  speaketh 
wrong.  Others  remarked  that  language  so  eulogistic 
had  never  before  been  inscribed  by  a  Sovereign's  hand 
upon  a  Minister's  tomb,  although  the  Crown  of  England 
had  been  served  by  a  long  succession  of  men  at  least  as 
eminent,as  conscientious,and  as  loyal  as  Ben  jamin  Disraeli. 

233 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

Of  course  the  Disraelitisli  faction  in  the  press  and 
the  whole  Conservative  party  revelled  in  the  unprece- 
dented character  of  the  inscription,  and  said  triumph- 
antly, though  jierhaps  indecorously,  that  it  showed  the 
absolute  concord  which  had  existed  between  the  Sov- 
ereign and  the  late  Premier.  They  pointed  out  that  no 
such  language  of  confidence  and  affection  was  likely  to 
be  used  towards  Lord  Beaconsfield's  successor ;  and  they 
seemed  even  to  feel  a  kind  of  second-hand  glory  reflected 
on  themselves,  as  the  disciples  and  inheritors  of  a  tradi- 
tion which  had  been  so  signally  honored.  But  the  Dis- 
raelites  boasted  all  too  soon.  Two  years  later  the  follow- 
ing inscription  appeared  in  the  church-yard  of  Crathie, 
N.B.: 

THIS   STONE 
IS  ERECTED  IN  AFFECTIONATE   REMEMBRANCE  OP 

JOHN  BROWN, 

the  devoted  and  faithful  personal  attendant  and  beloved  friend  of 
Queen  Victoria.  ..."  That  friend  on  whose  fidelity  you  count, 
that  friend  given  you  by  circumstances  over  which  you  have  no 
control,  was  God's  own  gift." 

Profound  was  the  mortification  which  the  appearance 
of  this  epitaph  produced  among  the  Disraelites.  It  was 
at  least  as  cordial,  as  appreciative,  and  as  honorific  as 
the  inscription  at  Hughenden;  and  all  the  elaborate 
edifice  of  partisan  swagger  and  unconstitutional  sug- 
gestion which  had  been  so  carefully  reared  was  seen  to 
be  utterly  baseless.  Alike  in  the  inscription  at  Hughen- 
den and  in  the  epitaph  at  Crathie  there  was  the  frank 
expression  of  a  warm-hearted  and  grateful  nature  tow- 
ards a  departed  friend  on  whom  it  had  leaned  for  suc- 
cor and  assistance ;  and  although  Tory  paragraphists 
might  snarl  and  sneer,  the  ordinary  Englishman,  and 
especially  the  ordinary  Kadical,  saw  with  pleasure  that 

234 


EPITAPHS 

at  least  as  high  a  tribute  was  paid  to  the  gillie  as  to 
the  Minister. 

From  the  epitaph  in  particular  to  epitaphs  in  general 
the  transition  is  natural  and  easy.  Mr.  Gladstone,  whose 
knowledge  of  such  matters  is  extensive  and  peculiar, 
once  told  me  the  precise  number — I  have  forgotten  what 
it  is — of  books  in  the  English  language  about  epitaphs. 
Any  one  who  is  curious  about  such  matters  can  find 
them  all  in  St.  DeinioFs  Library  at  Hawarden.  But  al- 
though I  am  not  versed  in  the  literature  of  epitaphs,  epi- 
taphs themselves  have  always  been  a  favorite  study  of 
mine.  The  late  Dean  Burgon  once  gave  a  lecture  on 
epitaphs,  and  appealed  for  striking  instances  to  all  his 
friends,  among  others  to  dear  old  "  Bodley  Coxe  " — the 
Bodleian  Librarian  at  Oxford.  Coxe  took  a  pencil  and 
instantly  wrote  an  epitaph  which  he  had  read  on  an  in- 
fant's grave  in  Eglingham  church-yard,  Northumberland* 

"When  the  Archangel's  trump  shall  blow 
And  souls  to  bodies  join, 
Thousands  will  wish  their  life  below  ^ 

Had  been  as  brief  as  mine." 

Putting  aside  the  hideousness  of  the  rhyme  "join"  and 
*'mine"  (whichever  way  you  take  the  sound),  the  qua- 
train must  be  admitted  to  contain  a  thrilling  thought  in 
an  effective  phrase. 

It  is  now  a  quarter  of  a  century  since  I  read  in  the 
Cathedral  church-yard  at  Eipon  the  following  inscription: 

"Bold  Infidelity,  turn  pale  and  die, 
Beneath  this  stone  three  infants'  ashes  lie  : 

Say— Are  they  lost  or  saved  ? 
If  Death's  by  sin,  they  sinned,  because  they're  here : 
If  Heaven's  by  works,  in  Heaven  they  can't  appear. 

Reason — Ah!  how  depraved! 
Revere  the  Bible's  page — the  knot's  untied  : 
They  died,  for  Adam  sinned ;  Ihey  live,  for  Christ  has  died." 

235 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

All  Evangelical  theology  is  contained  in  this  strange 
ditty. 

The  following  I  found  only  last  year  at  the  west  end 
of  Lincoln  Minster : 

HERE  IS  ENTOMBED 

DAME   HARRIOT,  daughter  of  lieu. -general  chtjrchill, 

WIFE  IN  HER  FIRST  MARRIAGE  TO  SR.  EVERARD  FAWKENER,  KT. 

IN  HER  SECOND  TO  GOVERNOUR  POWNALL. 

SHE  DYED  FEB.    6,    1777,   AGED  51. 

HER  PERSON  WAS  THAT  OF  ANIMATED,  ANIMATING  BEAUTY, 

WITH  A  COMPLEXION  OP  THE  MOST  EXQUISITE  BRILLIANCY, 

UNFADED  WHEN   SHE  FELL. 

HER    UNDERSTANDING    WAS    OF    SUCH    QUICKNESS    AND    REACH    O? 

THOUGHT   THAT   HER   KNOWLEDGE,   ALTHOUGH   SHE   HAD 

LEARNING,  WAS  INSTANT  AND  ORIGINAL. 

HER  HEART   WARMED   WITH   UNIVERSAL   BENEVOLENCE 

TO  THE  HIGHEST   DEGREE  OF  SENSIBILITY, 

HAD   A   READY   TEAR    FOR  PITY, 

GLOWED  WITH  FRIENDSHIP  AS  WITH  A  SACRED  AND  INVIOLATE  FIRE. 

HER  LOVE  TO  THOSE  WHO  WERE  BLEST  WITH  IT 

WAS  HAPPINESS. 

HER  SENTIMENTS  WERE  CORRECT,    REFINED,    ELEVATED, 

HER    MANNER    SO    CHEARFUL,    ELEGANT,    WINNING,    AND    AIMIABLE 

THAT,  WHILE   SHE  WAS   ADMIRED,   SHE  WAS  BELOVED, 

AND,  WHILE  SHE  ENLIGHTENED,  SHE  ENLIVENED. 

BHB  WAS  THE  DELIGHT  OF  THE   WORLD  IN  WHICH  SHE  LIVED, 

SHE  WAS  FORMED  FOR  LIFE, 

SHE  WAS  PREPARED   FOR  DEATH, 

WHICH   BEING 

A  GENTLE  WAFTING  TO  IMMORTALITY, 

SHE  LIVES 

WHERE  LIFE  IS  REAL. 

The  style  feels  the  century ;  but,  though  the  rhetorical 
elaboration  may  raise  a  smile,  this  is  excellent  English 
of  its  time  and  class.  And  what  a  delightful  woman 
must  Lady  Fawkener  have  been  !  To  have  kept  her  com- 
plexion to  the  last,  and  to  have  so  combined  amusing- 

236 


EPITAPHS 

ness  with  information  that  "while  she  enlightened,  she 
enlivened/'  was  a  twofold  triumph  not  often  achieved. 
One  cannot  help  pausing  on  the  last  line  of  the  epitaph, 
with  its  curious  touch  of  rebuke  to,  or  at  least  dissent 
from,  the  prevailing  materialism  of  the  time.  That  the 
invisible  life  is  the  real  life,  and  that  all  earthly  exist- 
ence is  but  "  a  figure  of  the  true,"  is  a  thought  which 
seems  to  belong  rather  to  antiquity,  or  to  the  religious 
sentiment  of  the  present  hour,  than  to  the  deadest  period 
of  the  most  unspiritual  century. 

For  the  epitaph  which  appears  on  the  following  page,  in 
an  altogether  different  style  of  excellence,  I  am  not  per- 
sonally responsible.  It  is  stated  in  the  Annual  Register 
to  exist  in  a  church-yard  in  Northumberland. 

If  the  epitaph  is  not  a  genuine  transcript,  it  does  infinite 
credit  to  the  wag  who  invented  it.  A  more  perfect  study 
in  character  I  have  never  read.  "Temperate,  chaste, 
and  charitable,  but  proud,  peevish,  and  passionate,"  is 
as  good  as  the  "bland,  passionate,  and  deeply  religious" 
of  the  best-known  of  all  epitaphs  ;  and  the  type  of  econ- 
omy which,  while  liberal  in  larger  matters,  "  would  sac- 
rifice one's  eyes  to  a  farthing  candle,"  is  drawn  by  the 
hand  of  a  master.  "  She  was  a  professed  enemy  to  flat- 
tery" is  an  excellent  litotes  (as  the  grammarians  would 
say)  for  the  plainer  statement  that  she  was  contradic- 
tory and  censorious.  It  reminds  me  of  the  Rev.  C.  P. 
Golightly — the  "old  Golly"  of  my  Oxford  days — whose 
excess  of  charity  made  it  impossible  for  him  to  express 
even  the  mildest  censure  on  his  friends.  Some  of  the 
Fellows  of  Oriel,  who  had  long  groaned  under  the  dry 
temper  and  mordant  tongue  of  their  old  Provost,  Dr. 
Hawkins,  were  joining  in  an  outcry  against  his  intoler- 
able coldness  and  severity.  Truth  would  not  allow  Go- 
lightly  to  dissent,  and  charity  forbade  him  to  agree,  so 
he  liberated  his  soul  by  gently  remarking :   "  If  I  were 

237 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

UKUE  UK  THE  BODIES 

OF  THOMAS  BOND  and  MARY  his  wife. 

SHE  WAS  TEMPERATE,  CHASTE,  AND  CHARITABLE  ; 

BUT 

SHE  WAS  PROUD,  PEEVISH,  AND   PASSIONATE. 

SHE  WAS  AN  AFFECTIONATE  WIFE  AND  A  TENDER  MOTHER  ; 

HUT 

HER  HUSBAND  AND  CHILD,  WHOM  SHE  LOVED, 

SELDOM  SAW  HER  COUNTENANCE  WITHOUT  A  DISGUSTING  FROWN, 

WHILST    SHE    RECEIVED   VISITORS    WHOM    SHE     DESPISED    WITH  AN 

ENDEARING  SMILE. 

HER  BEHAVIOR  WAS  DISCREET  TOWARDS  STRANGERS  ; 

BUT 

IMPRUDENT  IN  HER  FAMILY. 
ABROAD,  HER  CONDUCT  WAS  INFLUENCED  BY  GOOD  BREEDING  ; 

BUT 

AT  HOME,  BY  ILL-TEMPER. 

SHE  WAS  A  PROFESSED  ENEMY  TO  FLATTERY, 

AND   WAS  SELDOM  KNOWN  TO  PRAISE  OR  COMMEND, 

BUT 

THE  TALENTS  IN  WHICH  SHE  PRINCIPALLY  EXCELLED 

WERE  DIFFERENCE  OF  OPINION,  AND  DISCOVERING  FLAWS  AND 

IMPERFECTIONS. 

SHE  WAS  AN  ADMIRABLE  ECONOMIST, 

AND,  WITHOUT  PRODIGALITY, 

DISPENSED  PLENTY  TO  EVERY  PERSON  IN  HER  FAMILY ; 

BUT 

WOULD  SACRIFICE  THEIR  EYES  TO  A  FARTHING  CANDLE. 

SHE  SOMETIMES  MADE  HER  HUSBAND  HAPPY  WITH  HER  GOOD 

QUALITIES ; 

EOT 

MUCH  MORE  FREQUENTLY  MISERABLE  WITH  HER  MANY  FAILINGS. 

INSOMUCH  THAT  IN  THIRTY  YEARS'  COHABITATION  HE  OFTEN 

LAMENTED  THAT,  MAUGRE  ALL  HER  VIRTUES, 

HE  HAD  NOT,  IN  THE  WHOLE,  ENJOYED  TWO  YEARS  OF  MATRIMONIAL 

COMFORT. 

AT  LENGTH, 

FINDING  THAT  SHE  HAD  LOST  THE  AFFECTIONS  OF  HER  HUSBAND, 

AS  WELL  AS  THE  REGARD  OF  HER  NEIGHBOURS, 

FAMILY  DISPUTES  HAVING  BEEN  DIVULGED  BY  SERVANTS, 

SHE  DIED  OF  VEXATION,  JULY  20,  1768, 

AGED  48  YEARS. 

HER  WORN-OUT  HUSBAND  SURVIVED  HER  FOUR  MONTHS  AND  TWO 

DAYS,  AND  DEPARTED  THIS  LIFE  NOV.  28,  1768, 

IN  THE  54TH  YEAR  OF  HIS  AGE. 

WILLIAM  BOND,  BROTHER  TO  THE  DECEASED,  ERECTED  THIS  STONE, 

AS  A  WEEKLY  MONITOR  TO  THE  SURVIVING  WIVES  OF  THIS  PARISH 

THAT  THEY  MAY  AVOID  THE  INFAMY 

OF  HAVING  THEIR  MEMORIES  HANDED  TO  POSTERITY 

WITH  A  PATCH- WORK  CHARACTER. 

238 


EPITAPHS 

forced  to  choose  an  epithet  to  describe  the  dear  Provost, 
I  think  the  last  I  should  choose  would  be  'gushing.'" 
But  this  is  a  digression  to  the  litotes  of  the  common- 
room  from  the  litotes  of  the  tombstone. 

In  the  church-yard  of  Harrow-on-the-Hill  is  an  epitaph 
remarkable  for  its  happy  combination  of  verse  and  prose : 

TO  THE  JfEMORY  OF 

THOMAS  PORT, 

SON  OF  JOHN  PORT,  OP  BURTON-TJPON -TRENT, 

IN  THE  COUNTY  OP  STAFFORD,  HAT  MANUFACTURER, 

"WHO  NEAR  THIS  TOWN  HAD  BOTH  HIS  LEGS 

SEVERED  FROM  HIS  BODY  BY  THE  RAILWAY  TRAIN. 

WITH  THE  GREATEST  FORTITUDE  HE  BORE  A 

SECOND  AMPUTATION  BY  THE  SURGEONS,  AND 

DIED  FROM  LOSS  OF  BLOOD. 

AUGUST  7'",  1838.  AGED  33  YEARS. 


"Bright  rose  the  morn  and  vigrous  rose  poor  Port, 
Gay  on  the  Train  he  used  his  wonted  sport. 
Ere  noon  arrived,  his  mangled  form  they  bore. 
With  pain  distorted  and  o'erwhelmed  with  gore ; 
When  evening  came  to  close  the  fatal  day, 
A  mutilated  corpse  the  sufferer  lay." 

In  St.  Anne's  church-yard,  Soho,  is  read  : 

NEAR  THIS  PLACE  IS  INTERRED 

THEODORE,  KING  op  CORSICA, 

WHO  DIED  IN  THIS  PARISH,  DEC.  11, 

1756, 

IMMEDIATELY  AFTER  LEAVING 

THE  king's  BENCH  PRISON, 

BY  THE  BENEFIT  OF  THE  ACT  OF  INSOLVENCY, 

IN  CONSEQUENCE  OF  WHICH 

HE  REGISTERED  THE  KINGDOM  OF  CORSICA 

FOR  THE  USE  OF  HIS  CREDITORS. 

"The  grave,  great  teacher,  to  a  level  brings 
Heroes  and  beggars,  galley-slaves  and  kings." 
239 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

111  Winchester  Cathedral  yard  : 

IN  MEMORY  OP 

THOMAS  THATCHER, 

A  GRENADIEU  OP  TOE  NINTH  REGIMENT 

OP  HANTS  MILITIA,  WHO  DIED  OP  A 

VIOLENT  PEVER,  CONTRACTED  BY  DRINKING 

SMALL  BEER  WHEN  HOT  THE  12TH  OP  MAY,         .^ 

1769,  AGED  26  YEARS. 

IN  GRATEFUL  REMEMBRANCE  OP 

WHOSE  UNIVERSAL 

GOODWILL  TOWARDS  HIS  COMRADES 

THIS  STONE 

IS  PLACED  HERE  AT  THEIR  EXPENSE, 

AS  A  SMALL 

TESTIMONY  OP  THEIR  REGARD  AND  CONCERN. 

HERE  SLEEPS  IN  PEACE  A  HAMPSHIRE  GRENADIER 
WHO  CAUGHT  HIS  DEATH  BY  DRINKING  COLD  SMALL  BEER. 
SOLDIERS,  BE  WISE  PROM  HIS  UNTIMELY  PALL,  '^^ 

AND  WHEN  YE'rE  HOT,  DRINK  STRONG  OR  NONE  AT  ALL. 


THIS  MEMORIAL  BEING  DECAYED,  WAS  RESTORED  BY 
THE  OPPICERS  OP  THE  GARRISON  A.D.  1781. 

AN  HONEST  SOLDIER  NEVER  IS  PORGOT, 
WHETHER  HE  DIED  BY  MUSKET  OR  BY  POT. 


THIS  STONE  WAS  PLACED  BY  THE  NORTH  HANTS 

MILITIA  WHEN  DISEMBODIED  AT  WINCHESTER 

ON  26TH  APRIL,  1802,  IN  CONSEQUENCE  OP 

THE  ORIGINAL  STONE  BEING  DESTROYED. 

With  professedly  comic  epitaphs — the  cramie  repetita  of 
''  Cheltenham  Waters"  and  "  The  Landlord  of  the  Lion  " 
— I  do  not  purpose  to  insult  the  intelligence  of  my  read- 
ers. But  I  cannot  forbear  to  quote  a  sarcastic  epitaph 
suggested  by  the  famous  Lord  Alvanley  for  a  noble  friend 
of  his  who  had  been  expelled  from  society  for  cheating  at 
whist  : 

340 


EPITAPUS 

HERB  LIES 

HENRY  WILLIAM,  twenty-second  LORD , 

EN  JOYFUL  EXPECTATION  OP  THE  LAST  TRUMP. 

In  its  point  and  brevity  this  is  as  good  as  a  Greek  epi- 
gram. 

What  I  am  about  to  quote  is  indeed  not  an  epitaph,  for 
it  is  not,  so  far  as  I  am  aware,  inscribed  on  any  tomb  ; 
but,  as  an  elegiac  poem,  it  is  in  nature  congruous  to  the 
epitaph,  and  alike  in  metre  and  in  sentiment  it  is  too 
remarkable  to  be  left  in  obscurity.  I  copied  it  from  a 
Yorkshire  newspaper  two  years  ago,  and  I  now  give  it 
verbally  and  literally,  only  altering  the  last  two  lines,  so 
as  to  avoid  mentioning  the  name  of  the  good  man  in 
whose  honor  it  was  composed  : 

A  beloved  Christian  gentleman  has  yielded  his  breath 
And  passed  away,  but  for  the  truly  good  there  is  no  death. 
His  work  bears  fruit  which  sweet  undying  fragrance  gives, 
And  in  vivid  and  ineffaceable  deeds  the  good  man  ever  lives. 
He  was  a  philanthropist  in  its  true  and  broadest  sense, 
Who  wrought  much  good  secretly  and  sought  no  recompense. 
An  administrator  of  justice  and  advocate  of  the  helpless  and 

weak, 
His  life  and  actions  to  the  world  most  eloquently  speak. 
Sympathy  true  and  deep  surrounds  the  lady  of  noble  birth 
Who  bears  his  name,  and  whom  all  revere  for  sterling  worth  I 
Who  takes  a  noble  part  in  every  sweet  and  gracious  deed, 
For  whom,  in  her  great  sorrow,  every  heart  must  bleed. 
To  him  that's  gone  many  appealed,  on  whom  all  could  depend, 
And  in  him  rich  and  poor  have  lost  a  valued  friend  / 
And  ever  shall  be  cherished  in  men's  hearts  (a  deathless  roll) 
The  revered  familiar  name  of  John  Thomas  Peter  Pole. 

The  following  performance,  in  a  similar  vein,  I  bought 
in  the  streets  of  London  from  an  itinerant  minstrel  who 
vended  his  own  compositions  : 
q  241 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 


A  FEW  LINES  UPON  THE  LATE  EMPEROR  FREDERICK 

Listen  to  the  church  bells  tolling, 

How  they  sound  so  clear  in  the  air, 

Telling  us  of  the  lost  one  who  in  his  country  was  so  dear. 

He  has  lingered  through  his  illness, 

Although  he  suffered  many  a  pain  ; 

Now  to  think  he  has  been  taken, 

Just  as  he  succeeded  his  Father's  reign ! 

He  was  a  noble  Emperor,  he  was  good  to  all  mankind, 

So  gently  toll  the  bell,  and  quietly  draw  the  blind. 

He  will  be  missed  by  many  now  that  he  has  left  this  shore. 
Because  he  was  a  man  for  Peace,  he  was  not  the  one  for  War. 
No  one  can  say  that  while  he  lived  but  what  he  did  his  best 
To  keep  the  country  around  him  in  quietness  and  rest. 
Her  dear  Empress  Victoria  will  take  it  much  to  heart, 
For  she  was  a  fond  and  loving  wife,  and  now  they  have  to  part. 
He  was  a  noble  Emperor,  so  gentle  and  so  kind, 
So  gently  toll  the  bell,  and  quietly  draw  the  blind. 

It  was  while  driving  with  the  King  of  Italy  in  the  autumn,  1886, 
When  the  Emperor  got  wet  through,  which  caused  this  dreadful 

fix; 
He  tried  his  best  to  shake  it  off,  but  no,  it  was  to  be  his  fate, 
All  the  doctors  could  not  save  him,  for  he  was  in  such  a  dread- 
ful state ; 
Now  he  has  been  called  away,  there  is  not  the  slightest  doubt, 
But  what  the  people  in  the  country  will  be  very  much  put  about. 
By  what  is  being  said  now,  and  what  has  been  said  before. 
It  seems  very  plainly  there  means  to  be  a  war. 
He  was  a  noble  Emperor,  a  nobleman  in  mind. 
So  gently  toll  the  bell,  and  quietly  draw  the  blind. 


XXVI 

ADVERTISEMENTS 

Lately,  when  hnntiug  in  my  diary  for  Epitaphs,  I 
came  upon  a  collection  of  Advertisements.  No  branch 
of  literature  is  more  suggestive  of  philosophical  reflec- 
tions. I  take  my  specimens  quite  at  random,  just  as 
they  turn  up  in  my  diary,  and  the  first  which  meets  my 
eye  is  printed  on  the  sad  sea-green  of  the  Westminster 
Gazette  : 

''Guardian,  whose  late  ward  merits  the  highest  en- 
comiums, seeks  for  him  the  position  of  Secretary  to  a 
Nobleman  or  Lady  of  Position :  one  with  literary  tastes 
preferred  :  the  young  gentleman  is  highly  connected,  dis- 
tinguished-looking, a  lover  of  books,  remarkably  steady, 
and  exceptionally  well  read,  clever  and  ambitious :  has 
travelled  much  :  good  linguist,  photographer,  musician  : 
a  moderate  fortune,  but  debarred  by  timidity  from  com- 
petitive examination." 

I  have  always  longed  to  know  the  fate  of  this  lucky 
youth.  Few  of  us  can  boast  of  even  ''  a  moderate  fort- 
une," and  fewer  still  of  such  an  additional  combination 
of  gifts,  graces,  and  accomplishments.  On  the  other 
hand,  most  of  us,  at  one  time  or  another  in  our  career, 
have  felt  "  debarred  by  timidity  from  competitive  exam- 
ination." But,  unluckily,  we  have  had  fathers  of  our 
flesh  who  corrected  us,  and  college  dons  who  forced  us 
to  face  the  agonies  of  the  Schools,  instead  of  an  amiable 
guardian  who  bestowed  on  us  "the  highest  encomiums," 

243 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

and  sought  to  plant  us  on  Ladies  of  Position,  ''with  lit- 
erary tastes  preferred." 

Another  case,  presenting  some  points  of  resemblance 
to  the  last,  but  far  less  favored  by  fortune,  was  notified 
to  the  compassionate  world  by  the  Morning  Post,  in  1889  : 

"  Will  any  rich  person  take  a  gentleman  and  board 
him  ?  Of  good  family :  age  27 :  good  musician :  thor- 
oughly conversant  with  all  office-work :  no  objection  to 
turn  Jew:  lost  his  money  through  dishonest  trustee :  ex- 
cellent writer." 

I  earnestly  hope  that  this  poor  victim  of  fraud  has  long 
since  found  his  desired  haven  in  some  comfortable  He- 
brew home,  where  he  can  exercise  his  skill  in  writing 
and  office-work  during  the  day  and  display  his  musical 
accomplishments  after  the  family  supper.  I  have  known 
not  a  few  young  Gentiles  who  would  be  glad  to  be  adopt- 
ed on  similar  terms. 

The  next  is  extracted  from  the  Manchester  Guardian 
of  1894 : 

"A  Child  of  God,  seeking  employment,  would  like  to 
take  charge  of  property  and  collect  rents;  has  a  slight 
knowledge  of  architecture  and  sanitary;  can  give  un- 
exceptionable references  ;  aged  31 ;  married." 

What  offers  ?  Very  few,  I  should  fear,  in  a  community 
so  shrewdly  commercial  as  Manchester,  where,  I  under- 
stand, religious  profession  is  seldom  taken  as  a  substitute 
for  technical  training.  The  mention  of  that  famous  city 
reminds  me  that  not  long  ago  I  was  describing  Cheetham 
College  to  an  ignorant  outsider,  who,  not  realizing  how 
the  name  was  spelled,  observed  that  it  sounded  as  if  Mr. 
Squeers  had  been  caught  by  the  Oxford  Movement  and 
the  Gothic  Revival,  and  had  sought  to  give  an  ecclesias- 
tical air  to  his  famous  seminary  of  Dotheboys  Hall  by 
transforming  it  into  "Cheat'em  College." 

That  immortal  pedagogue  owed  much  of  his  deserved 
244 


ADVERTISEMENTS 

success  to  his  skill  in  the  art  of  drawing  an  advertise- 
ment : 

*'At  Mr.  Wackford  Squeers's  Academy,  Dotheboys 
Hall,  at  the  delightful  village  of  Dotheboys,  in  York- 
shire, youth  are  boarded,  clothed,  booked,  furnished 
with  pocket  -  money,  provided  with  all  necessaries,  in- 
structed in  all  languages,  living  and  dead,  mathematics, 
orthography,  geometry,  astronomy,  trigonometry,  the 
use  of  the  globes,  algebra,  singlestick  (if  required),  writ- 
ing, arithmetic,  fortification,  and  every  other  branch 
of  classical  literature.  Terms,  twenty  guineas  per  an- 
num.    No  extras,  no  vacation,  and  diet  unparalleled." 

Now,  mark  what  follows.  Wackford  Squeers  the 
younger  was,  as  we  all  know,  destined  by  his  parents  to 
follow  the  school-master^s  profession,  to  assist  his  father 
as  long  as  assistance  was  required,  and  then  to  take  the 
management  of  the  Hall  and  its  pupils  into  his  own 
hands.  "Am  I  to  take  care  of  the  school  when  I  grow 
up  a  man,  father  ?"  said  Wackford,  junior.  "You  are, 
my  son,"  replied  Mr.  Squeers,  in  a  sentimental  voice. 
"  Oh,  my  eye,  won't  I  give  it  to  the  boys  !"  exclaimed 
the  interesting  child,  grasping  his  father's  cane — "  won't 
I  make  'em  squeak  again !"  But  we  know  also  that, 
owing  to  the  pressure  of  pecuniary  and  legal  difficulties, 
and  the  ill-timed  interference  of  Mr.  John  Browdie,  the 
school  at  Dotheboys  Hall  was  at  any  rate  temporarily 
broken  up.  So  far  we  have  authentic  records  to  rely  on ; 
the  remainder  is  pure  conjecture.  But  I  am  persuaded 
that  Wackford  Squeers  the  younger,  with  all  the  dogged 
perseverance  of  a  true  Yorkshireman,  struggled  man- 
fully against  misfortune  ;  resolved  to  make  a  home  for 
his  parents  and  sister ;  and,  as  soon  as  he  could  raise 
the  needful  capital,  opened  a  private  school  in  the  South 
of  England,  as  far  as  possible  from  the  scene  of  earlier 
misfortune.     Making  due  allowance  for  change  of  time 

245 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

and  circnmstances,  I  trace  a  close  similarity  of  substance 
and  style  between  the  advertisement  which  I  quoted 
above  and  that  which  I  give  below,  and  I  feel  persuaded 
that  young  AVackford  inherited  from  his  more  famous 
father  this  peculiar  power  of  attracting  parental  con- 
fidence by  means  of  picturesque  statement.  We  have 
read  the  earlier  manifesto  ;  let  us  now  compare  the  later  : 

"Vacancies  now  occur  in  the  establishment  of  a  gentle- 
man who  undertakes  the  care  and  education  of  a  few 
backward  boys,  who  are  beguiled  and  trained  to  study 
by  kind  discipline,  without  the  least  severity  (which  too 
often  frustrates  the  end  desired).  Situation  extremely 
healthy.  Sea  and  country  air ;  deep  gravelly  soil.  Chris- 
tian gentility  assiduously  cultivated  on  sound  Church 
principles.  Diet  unsurpassed.  Wardrobes  carefully  pre- 
served. The  course  of  instruction  comprises  English, 
classics,  mathematics,  and  science.  Inclusive  terms,  30 
guineas  per  annum,  quarterly  in  advance.  Music,  draw- 
ing, and  modern  languages  are  extras,  but  moderate. 
Address ,  Chichester." 

Was  it  Vivian  Grey  or  Pelham  who  was  educated  at 
a  private  school  where  "the  only  extras  were  pure  milk 
and  the  guitar"? 

I  believe  that  there  is  no  charitable  institution  which 
more  thoroughly  deserves  support  than  the  Metropolitan 
Association  for  Befriending  Young  Servants,  affec- 
tionately contracted  by  its  supporters  into  the  "Mabys." 
Here  is  one  of  its  advertisements,  from  which,  I  am 
bound  to  say,  the  alluring  skill  displayed  by  Mr.  Squeers 
is  curiously  absent : 

"Will  any  one  undertake  as  Sekvant  a  bright,  clean, 
neat  girl,  who  is  deceitful,  lazy,  and  inclined  to  be  dis- 
honest ?  Address,  Hon.  Secretary,  M.A.B.Y.S.,  21 
Charlotte  Street,  S.E." 

I  remember  some  years  ago  an  advertisement  which 
246 


ADVERTISEMENTS 

sought  a  kind  master  and  a  pleasant  home  for  a  large, 
savage  dog ;  and  I  remember  how  admirably  Punch  de- 
scribed the  kind  of  life  which  the  "large,  savage  dog" 
would  lead  the  "kind  master"  when  he  got  him.  But 
really  the  vision  of  a  bright  maid-servant  who  is  "  de- 
ceitful, lazy,  and  inclined  to  be  dishonest,"  and  the 
havoc  which  she  might  work  in  a  well-ordered  house- 
hold, is  scarcely  less  appalling.  A  much  more  deserving 
case  is  this  which  I  append  : 

"  Under  -  Housekeeper,  under  -  Matron,  desired  by  a 
Young  Woman,  age  22.  Energetic,  domesticated. 
Great  misfortune  in  losing  right  arm,  but  good  artiJficial 
one.      Happy   home,   with    small    remuneration.      Ap- 

ply  —" 

It  is  not,  I  fear,  in  my  power  to  make  a  contribution 
of  permanent  value  to  the  "  Great  Servant  Question." 
But,  having  given  instances  of  insufficient  qualification 
in  people  seeking  to  be  employed,  I  now  turn  to  the 
opposite  side  of  the  account,  and,  after  perusing  what 
follows,  would  respectfully  ask.  Who  is  sufficient  for 
these  things  ? 

"  Can  any  lady  or  gentleman  recommend  a  Man  and 
Wife  (Church  of  England)?  Man  useful  indoors  and 
out.  Principal  duties  large  flower-garden,  small  conser- 
vatory, draw  bath-chair,  must  wait  at  table,  understand 
lamps,  non-smoker,  wear  dress  suit  except  in  garden. 
Clothes  and  beer  not  found.  Family,  lady  and  child, 
lady-help.  House-parlor-maid  kept.  Must  not  object 
to  small  bedroom.  Wife  plain  cook  (good),  to  under- 
take kitchen  offices,  dining-room,  and  hall  (wash  clothes). 
Joint  wages  50^.,  all  found.     ." 

Now  there  is  really  a  study  in  exacting  eccentricity 
which  Thackeray  might  have  made  the  subject  of  a 
"Eoundabout  Paper."  In  the  first  place,  the  two  ser- 
vants must  be  man  and  wife.     Unmarried  people  need 

247 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

not  apply,  and  yet  they  must  be  contented  with  a  small 
bedroom.  The  family  consists  of  a  lady  (apparently  an 
invalid),  a  child,  a  lady-help,  and  a  house-parlor-maid. 
For  these  the  wife  must  cook,  and  cook  well,  besides 
cleaning  the  dining-room,  hall,  and  offices,  and  washing 
the  clothes.  Her  husband,  yet  more  accommodating, 
must  attend  to  a  large  flower-garden  and  a  small  conser- 
vatory, must  draw  a  bath-chair,  wait  at  table,  and  clean 
lamps.  After  all  these  varied  and  arduous  labors,  he  is 
denied  the  refreshment  of  a  pipe  ;  but,  as  a  kind  of  com- 
pensation, he  is  not  obliged  to  wear  his  dress  suit  when 
he  is  gardening  !  The  joint  wages  are  501.,  with  all 
found  except  clothes  and  beer  ;  and  the  lucky  recipients 
of  this  overpowering  guerdon  must  be  members  of  the 
Church  of  England. 

This  last  requirement  reminds  me  of  a  letter  from  a 
girl-emigrant  written  to  Lady  Laura  Ridding,  wife  of  the 
Bishop  of  Southwell,  who  had  befriended  her  at  home. 
**  Dear  Madam, — I  hope  this  finds  you  as  well  as  it  leaves 
me.  The  ship  is  in  the  middle  of  the  Red  Sea,  and  it 
is  fearfully  hot.  I  am  in  a  terrible  state  of  melting  all 
day  long.  But,  honored  Madam,  I  know  yon  will  be 
pleased  to  hear  that  I  am  still  a  member  of  the  Church 
of  England."  I  hope  the  good  plain  cook  and  her  non- 
smoking, bath -chair -drawing,  large -gardening  husband 
may  be  able  to  comfort  themselves  with  the  same  reflec- 
tion when  the  varied  toils  of  the  day  are  ended  and  they 
seek  their  well-earned  repose  in  the  *' small  bedroom." 

From  these  lowly  mysteries  of  domestic  service  I  pass 
at  a  bound  to  the  exalted  atmosphere  of  courtly  life  : 

"The  Great -niece  of  a  Lord  Chamberlain  to  King 
George  III.  eequires  a  situation  as  Companion  to  a 
lady,  or  Cicerone  to  young  ladies.  Her  mind  is  highly 
cultivated.     English  habits  and  Parisian  accent.   Apply, 

by  letter,  Caesar,  ." 

248 


ADVERTISEMENTS • 

"  Vieille  ecole,  bonne  ecole,  begad  !"  cried  Major  Pen- 
dennis,  and  here  would  have  been  a  companion  for  Mrs. 
Pendennis  or  a  cicerone  for  Laura  after  his  own  heart. 
The  austere  traditions  of  the  Court  of  George  III.  and 
Queen  Charlotte  might  be  expected  to  survive  in  the 
grand-niece  of  their  Lord  Chamberlain  ;  and  what  a  tact- 
ful concession  to  the  prejudices  of  Mrs.  Grundy  in  the 
statement  that,  though  the  accent  may  be  Parisian,  the 
habits  are  English  !  This  excellent  lady  —  evidently  a 
near  relation  to  Mrs.  General,  in  Little  Dorrit  —  reintro- 
duces us  to  the  genteel  society  in  which  we  are  most  at 
home  ;  and  here  I  may  remark  that  the  love  of  aristocracy 
which  is  so  marked  and  so  amiable  a  feature  of  our  na- 
tional character  finds  its  expression  not  only  in  the  ad- 
vertisement columns,  but  in  the  daily  notices  of  deaths 
and  marriages.  For  example:  ''On  the  22d  inst.,  at 
Lisbon,  William  Thorold  Wood,  cousin  to  the  Bishop  of 
Rochester,  to  Sir  John  Thorold,  of  Syston  Park,  and 
brother  to  the  Rector  of  Widmerpool.  He  was  a  man  of 
great  mental  endowments  and  exemplary  conduct."  I 
dare  say  he  was,  but  I  fear  they  would  have  gone  unre- 
corded had  it  not  been  for  the  more  impressive  fact  that 
he  was  kinsman  to  a  Bishop  and  a  Baronet. 

Here  is  a  gem  of  purest  ray  serene,  extracted  by  me 
from  the  Morning  Post  of  1893  : 

"  Copper  Wedding. 

"De  Courcelles— St.  Aubyn.— On  the  7th  Novem- 
ber, 1883,  at  St.  Marylebone  Church,  W.,  by  the  Rev. 
Grant  E.  Thomas,  B.C.L.,  and  privately,  owing  to  family 
bereavements,  the  Rev.  J.  Hector  de  Courcelles,  M.A., 
Worcester  College,  Oxford,  and  some  time  incumbent 
of  St.  Andrew's,  Ardrossan,  to  Matilda  Chrysogoria, 
daughter  of  the  late  Rev.  William  John  St.  Aubyn, 
M.A.,  rector  of  Stoke  Damerel,  Devonport,  and  grand- 

249 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

daughter  of  Sir  John  St.  Aubyn,  F.R.S.,  fifth  Baronet 
of  Clowance  and  St.  Michael's  Mount,  in  the  county  of 
Cornwall,  and  also  granddaughter  of  the  late  Sir  Thomas 
Barrett  Lennard,  Bart.,  of  Belhus,  Essex,  and  his  wife 
Dorothy,  Lady  Lennard,  sister  and  co-heir  of  the  above- 
named  Sir  John  St.  Aubyn,  Bart.,  F.R.S." 

Was  the  following  skit,  which  appeared  in  the  same 
paper  directly  afterwards,  undeserved  ? 

"Brazen  Wedding. 

"  Poyntz-d'Argent — Champignon.  —  On  November 
9,  1888,  at  St.  Wombat's,  Stony  Stratford,  by  the  Rev. 
Peter  Broke  Poyntz-d'Argent,  father  of  the  bridegroom, 
and  privately,  owing  to  affliction  in  bride's  family,  the 
Rev.  Maximus  Cadwallader  Poyntz-d'Argent,  B.A., 
Brasenose,  and  some  time  curate-in-charge  of  Cabbidge, 
Beds,  to  Rosy  Gillian,  only  surviving  child  of  Vane 
Champignon,  Esq.,  of  Champignon,  Beds,  and  grand- 
daughter of  the  late  Sir  De  Horsey  Champignon,  Kt.,  of 
Muckross,  and  maternal  great  -  grandniece  of  the  late 
Honorable  Carolina  A.  W.  Skeggs." 

The  closing  allusion  to  the  Vicar  of  Wakefield  redeems 
the  ribaldry  with  a  touch  of  literary  grace. 

I  cannot  quit  the  subject  of  Advertisements  without 
saying  a  word  about  the  Medical  branch  of  this  fine  art ; 
and,  knowing  the  enormous  fortunes  which  have  often 
been  made  out  of  a  casual  prescription  for  ac7ie  or  alope- 
cia, I  freely  place  at  the  disposal  of  any  aspiring  young 
chemist  who  reads  this  paper  the  following  tale  of  enter- 
prise and  success.  A  few  years  ago,  according  to  the 
information  before  me,  a  London  doctor  had  a  lady  pa- 
tient who  complained  of  an  incessant  neuralgia  in  her 
face  and  jaw.  The  doctor  could  detect  nothing  amiss, 
but  exhausted  his  skill,  his  patience,  and  his  remedies  in 
trying  to  comfort  the  complainant,  who,  however,  re- 

250 


ADVERTISEMENTS 

fused  to  be  comforted.  At  length,  being  convinced  that 
the  case  was  one  of  pure  hypochondria,  he  wrote  to  the 
afflicted  lady,  saying  that  he  did  not  feel  justified  in  any 
longer  taking  her  money  for  a  case  which  was  evidently 
beyond  his  powers,  but  recommended  her  to  try  change 
of  air,  to  live  in  the  country,  and  to  trust  for  her  cure  to 
the  edax  renim  which  sooner  or  later  cures  all  human 
ills. 

The  lady  departed  in  sorrow,  but  in  faith  ;  obeyed  her 
doctor's  intructions  to  the  letter,  and  established  herself 
not  a  hundred  miles  from  the  good  city  of  Newcastle. 
Once  established  there,  her  first  care  was  to  seek  the 
local  chemist  and  to  place  her  doctor's  letter  in  his  hands. 
A  smart  young  assistant  was  presiding  at  the  counter  ;  he 
read  the  doctor's  letter,  and  promptly  made  up  a  bottle, 
which  he  labelled  "  Edax  Rerum.  To  be  taken  twice  a 
day  before  meals,"  and  for  which  he  demanded  lis.  6d. 
The  lady  rejoicingly  paid,  and  requested  that  a  similar 
bottle  might  be  sent  to  her  every  week  till  further  notice. 
She  continued  to  use  and  to  pay  for  this  specific  for  a 
year  and  a  half,  and  then,  finding  her  neuralgia  consider- 
ably abated,  she  came  up  to  London  for  a  week's  amuse- 
ment. Full  of  gratitude,  she  called  on  her  former  doc- 
tor, and  said  that  though  she  had  felt  a  little  hurt  at 
the  abrupt  manner  in  which  he  had  dismissed  so  old  a 
patient,  still  she  could  not  forbear  to  tell  him  that  his 
last  prescription  had  done  her  far  more  good  than  any  of 
its  predecessors,  and  that,  indeed,  she  now  regarded 
herself  as  practically  cured.  Explanations  followed  ;  in- 
quires were  set  on  foot ;  the  chemist's  assistant  sailed  for 
South  Africa;  and  "  Edax  Rerum  "  is  now  largely  in  de- 
mand among  the  unlettered  heroes  who  bear  the  banner 
of  the  Chartered  Company. 


XXVII 

PARODIES   IN   PROSE 

" Parody/' wrote  Mr.  Matthew  Arnold  in  1883,  "is 
a  vile  art,  but  I  must  say  I  read  Poor  Matthias,  in  the 
World,  with  an  amused  pleasure."  It  was  a  generous 
appreciation,  for  the  original  Poor  Matthias — an  elegy 
on  a  canary — is  an  exquisite  little  poem,  and  the  World's 
parody  of  it  is  a  rather  dull  imitation.  On  the  whole,  I 
agree  with  Mr.  Arnold  that  parody  is  a  vile  art ;  but  the 
dictum  is  a  little  too  sweeping.  A  parody  of  anything 
really  good,  whether  in  prose  or  verse,  is  as  odious  as  a 
burlesque  of  Hamlet ;  but,  on  the  other  hand,  parody  is 
the  appropriate  punishment  for  certain  kinds  of  literary 
affectation.  There  are,  and  always  have  been,  some 
styles  of  poetry  and  of  prose  which  no  one  endowed  with 
an  ear  for  rhythm  and  a  sense  of  humor  could  forbear 
to  parody.  Such,  to  a  generation  brought  up  on  Milton 
and  Pope,  were  the  styles  of  the  various  poetasters  sat- 
irized in  Rejected  Addresses  ;  but  excellent  as  are  the 
metrical  parodies  in  that  famous  book,  the  prose  is 
even  better.  Modern  parodists,  of  whom  I  will  speak 
more  particularly  in  a  future  paper,  have,  I  think,  sur- 
passed such  poems  as  The  Baby's  Debut  and  A  Tale 
of  Drury  Lane,  but  in  the  far  more  difficult  art  of 
imitating  a  prose  style  none  that  I  know  of  has  even 
approached  the  author  of  the  Hampshire  Farmer's  Ad- 
dress and  Johnson's  Ghost.  Does  any  one  read  William 
Cobbett  nowadays  ?    If  so,  let  him  compare  what  fol- 

252 


PARODIES    IN    PROSE 

lows  with  the  recorded  specimens  of  Cobbett's  public 
speaking : 

"Most  thinking  People, — When  persons  address  an 
audience  from  the  stage,  it  is  usual,  either  in  words  or 
gesture,  to  say  '  Ladies  and  gentlemen,  your  servant.* 
If  I  were  base  enough,  mean  enough,  paltry  enough,  and 
brute  beast  enough  to  follow  that  fashion,  I  should  tell  two 
lies  in  a  breath.  In  the  first  place,  you  are  not  ladies  and 
gentlemen,  but,  I  hope,  something  better — that  is  to  say, 
honest  men  and  women  ;  and,  in  the  next  place,  if  you 
were  ever  so  much  ladies,  and  ever  so  much  gentlemen, 
I  am  not,  nor  ever  will  be,  your  humble  servant." 

With  Dr.  Johnson's  style — supposing  we  had  ever  for- 
gotten its  masculine  force  and  its  balanced  antitheses — 
we  have  been  made  again  familiar  by  the  erudite  labors 
of  Dr.  Birkbeck  Hill  and  Mr.  Augustine  Birrell.  But 
even  those  learned  critics  might,  I  think,  have  mistaken 
a  copy  for  an  original  if  in  some  collection  of  old  speeches 
they  had  lighted  on  the  ensuing  address  : 

''That  which  was  organized  by  the  moral  ability  of 
one  has  been  executed  by  the  physical  efforts  of  many, 
and  Drurt  Lane  Theatre  is  now  complete.  Of  that 
part  behind  the  curtain,  which  has  not  yet  been  des- 
tined to  glow  beneath  the  brush  of  the  varnisher  or  vi- 
brate to  the  hammer  of  the  carpenter,  little  is  thought 
by  the  public,  and  little  need  be  said  by  the  Committee. 
Truth,  however,  is  not  to  be  sacrificed  to  the  accommo- 
dation of  either,  and  he  who  should  pronounce  that  our 
edifice  has  received  its  final  embellishment  would  be 
disseminating  falsehood  without  incurring  favor,  and 
risking  the  disgrace  of  detection  without  participating 
in  the  advantage  of  success."' 

An  excellent  morsel  of  Johnsonese  prose  belongs  to  a 
more  recent  date.  It  became  current  about  the  time 
when  the   scheme  of  Dr.  Murray's   Dictionary  of  the 

253 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

English  Language  was  first  made  public.  It  took  the 
form  of  a  dialogue  between  Dr.  Johnson  and  Boswell  in 
the  shades : 

"  BosiveU:  Pray,  sir,  what  would  you  say  if  you  were 
told  that  the  next  dictionary  of  the  English  language 
would  be  written  by  a  Scotchman  and  a  Presbyterian 
domiciled  at  Oxford  ? 

"Dr.  J. :  Sir,  in  order  to  be  facetious,  it  is  not  neces- 
sary to  be  indecent." 

When  Bulwer-Lytton  brought  out  his  play  JVot  so  Bad 
as  we  Seem,  his  friends  good-naturedly  altered  its  title 
to  Not  so  Good  as  we  Expected.  And  when  a  lady's  news- 
paper advertised  a  work  called  "  How  to  dress  on  fifteen 
pounds  a  year,  as  a  Lady.  By  a  Lady,"  Punch  was  ready 
with  the  characteristic  parody:  "How  to  dress  on  noth- 
ing a  year,  as  a  Kafiir.     By  a  Kaffir." 

Mr.  Gladstone's  authority  compels  me  to  submit  the 
ensuing  imitation  of  Macaulay — the  most  easily  parodied 
of  all  prose  writers — to  the  judgment  of  my  readers.  It 
was  written  by  the  late  Abraham  Hayward.  Macaulay 
is  contrasting,  in  his  customary  vein  of  over-wrought 
and  over -colored  detail,  the  evils  of  arbitrary  govern- 
ment with  those  of  a  debased  currency  ; 

"  The  misgovernment  of  Charles  and  James,  gross  as 
it  had  been,  had  not  prevented  the  common  business  of 
life  from  going  steadily  and  prosperously  on.  While 
the  honor  and  independence  of  the  State  were  sold  to 
a  foreign  Power,  while  chartered  rights  were  invaded, 
while  fundamental  laws  were  violated,  hundreds  of  thou- 
sands of  quiet,  honest,  and  industrious  families  labored 
and  traded,  ate  their  meals,  and  lay  down  to  rest  in  com- 
fort and  security.  Whether  Whigs  or  Tories,  Protestants 
or  Jesuits  were  uppermost,  the  grazier  drove  his  beasts 
to  market ;  the  grocer  weighed  out  his  currants ;  the 
draper  measured  out  his  broadcloth  ;  the  hum  of  buyers 

254 


PARODIES    IN    PROSE 

and  sellers  was  as  loud  as  ever  in  the  towns ;  the  har- 
vest-home was  celebrated  as  joyously  as  ever  in  the  ham- 
lets ;  the  cream  overflowed  the  pails  of  Cheshire ;  the 
apple  juice  foamed  in  the  presses  of  Herefordshire  ;  the 
piles  of  crockery  glowed  in  the  furnaces  of  the  Trent ; 
and  the  barrows  of  coal  rolled  fast  along  the  timber  rail- 
ways of  the  Tyne." 

This  reads  like  a  parody,  but  is  a  literal  transcript  of 
the  original ;  and  Hayward  justly  observes  that  there  is 
no  reason  why  this  rigmarole  should  ever  stop,  as  long 
as  there  is  a  trade,  calling,  or  occupation  to  be  particu- 
larized. The  pith  of  the  proposition  (which  needed  no 
proof)  is  contained  in  the  first  sentence.  Why  not  con- 
tinue thus  ? 

*'  The  apothecary  vended  his  drugs  as  usual  •  the  poul- 
terer crammed  his  turkeys  ;  the  fishmonger  skinned  his 
eels ;  the  wine-merchant  adulterated  his  port ;  as  many 
hot-cross  buns  as  ever  were  eaten  on  Good  Friday,  as 
many  pancakes  on  Shrove  Tuesday,  as  many  Christmas 
pies  on  Christmas  Day ;  on  area  steps  the  domestic  drudge 
took  in  her  daily  pennyworth  of  the  chalky  mixture 
which  Londoners  call  milk  ;  through  area  bars  the  feline 
tribe,  vigilant  as  ever,  watched  the  arrival  of  the  cat's- 
meat  man ;  the  courtesan  flaunted  in  the  Haymarket ; 
the  cab  rattled  through  the  Strand ;  and,  from  the  sub- 
urban regions  of  Fulham  and  Putney,  the  cart  of  the 
market-gardener  wended  its  slow  and  midnight  way  along 
Piccadilly  to  deposit  its  load  of  cabbages  and  turnips  in 
Covent  Garden." 

Twice  has  Mr.  Gladstone  publicly  called  attention  to 
the  merits  of  this  "effective  morsel  of  parody,"  as  he 
styles  it ;  and  he  judiciously  adds  that  what  follows  (by 
the  late  Dean  Hook)  is  *'a  like  attempt,  but  less  happy." 
Most  people  remember  the  attack  on  the  constitution  of 
the  Court  of  Chancery  in  the  preface  to  Bleah  House. 

255 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

Dean  Ilook,  in  a  laudable  attempt  to  soothe  the  ruffled 
feelings  of  his  old  friend  Vice-Chancellor  Page  Wood,  of 
whom  Dickens  in  that  preface  had  made  fun,  thus  en- 
deavors to  translate  the  accusation  into  Macaulayese  : 

''REIGN   OF   VICTORIA— 1856. 

"  The  Courts  of  Justice. 

"  The  Court  of  Chancery  was  corrupt.  The  guardian 
of  lunatics  was  the  cause  of  insanity  to  the  suitors  in  his 
court.  An  attempt  at  reform  was  made  when  Wood  was 
Solicitor-General.  It  consisted  chiefly  in  increasing  the 
number  of  judges  in  the  Equity  Court.  Government 
was  pleased  by  an  increase  of  patronage ;  the  lawyers 
approved  of  the  new  professional  prizes.  The  Gov- 
ernment papers  applauded.  Wood  became  Vice-Chan- 
cellor. At  the  close  of  1855  the  Equity  Courts  were 
without  business.  People  had  become  weary  of  seeking 
justice  where  justice  was  not  to  be  found.  The  state  of 
the  Bench  was  unsatisfactory.  Cranworth  was  feeble ; 
Knight  Bruce,  though  powerful,  sacrificed  justice  to  a 
joke  ;  Turner  was  heavy ;  Romilly  was  scientific ;  Kin- 
dersley  was  slow  ;  Stuart  was  pompous ;  Wood  was  at 
Bealings." 

If  I  were  to  indulge  in  quotations  from  well-known 
parodies  of  prose,  this  chapter  would  soon  overflow  all 
proper  dimensions.  I  forbear,  therefore,  to  do  more 
than  remind  my  readers  of  Thackeray's  Novels  hy  Emi- 
nent Hands  and  Bret  Harte's  Sensation  Novels,  only  re- 
marking, with  reference  to  the  latter  book,  that  "  Miss 
Mix  "  is  in  places  really  indistinguishable  from  Jane  Eyre. 
The  sermon  by  Mr.  Jowett  in  Mr.  Mallock's  Netu  Repub- 
lic is  so  perfect  an  imitation,  both  in  substance  and  in 
style,  that  it  suggested  to  some  readers  the  idea  that  it 
had  been  reproduced  from  notes  of  an  actual  discourse. 

256 


PARODIES    IN    PROSE 

On  spoken,  as  distinguished  from  written,  eloquence 
there  are  some  capital  skits  in  the  Anti-Jacohin,  where 
(under  the  name  of  Macfungus)  excellent  fun  is  made 
of  the  too  mellifluous  eloquence  of  Sir  James  Mack- 
intosh. 

The  differentiating  absurdities  of  after-dinner  oratory 
are  photographed  in  Thackeray's  Dinner  in  the  City, 
where  the  speech  of  the  American  Minister  seems  to 
have  formed  a  model  for  a  long  series  of  similar  per- 
formances. Dickens's  experience  as  a  reporter  in  the 
gallery  of  the  House  of  Commons  had  given  him  a  per- 
fect command  of  that  peculiar  style  of  speaking  which 
is  called  Parliamentary,  and  he  used  it  with  great  effect 
in  his  accounts  of  the  inaugural  meeting  of  the  ''United 
Metropolitan  Improved  Hot  Muffin  and  Crumpet  Baking 
and  Punctual  Delivery  Company"  in  Nicliolas  Nickleby 
(where  he  introduces  a  capital  sketch  of  Tom  Duncombe, 
Radical  Member  for  Finsbury)  ;  and  in  the  interview 
between  Mr.  Gregsbury,  M.P.,  and  his  constituents  in 
a  later  chapter  of  the  same  immortal  book. 

The  parliamentary  eloquence  of  a  later  day  was  ad- 
mirably reproduced  in  Mr.  Edward  Jenkins's  prophetic 
squib  (published  in  1872),  Barney  Geoghegan,  M.P.,  and 
Home  Rule  at  St.  Stephe7i's.  As  this  clever  little  book 
has,  I  fear,  lapsed  into  complete  oblivion,  I  venture  to 
cite  a  passage.  It  will  vividly  recall  to  the  memory  of 
middle-aged  politicians  the  style  and  tone  of  the  verbal 
duels  which,  towards  the  end  of  Mr.  Gladstone's  first 
Administration,  took  place  so  frequently  between  the 
Leader  of  the  House  and  the  Leader  of  the  Opposition. 
Mr.  Geoghegan  has  been  returned,  a  very  early  Home 
Ruler,  for  the  Borough  of  Rashkillen,  and  for  some 
violent  breaches  of  order  is  committed  to  the  custody 
of  the  Sergeant -at -Arms.  On  this  the  Leader  of  the 
House  rises  and  addresses  the  Speaker : 
R  257 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

"Sir, — The  House  cannot  but  sympathize  with  you  in 
the  eloquent  and  indignant  denunciation  you  have  ut- 
tered against  the  painful  invasion  of  the  decorum  of  the 
House  which  we  have  just  witnessed.  There  can  be  no 
doubt  in  any  mind,  even  in  the  minds  of  those  with  whom 
the  hon.  member  now  at  the  bar  usually  acts,  that  of  all 
methods  of  argument  which  could  be  employed  in  this 
House,  he  has  selected  the  least  politic.  Sir,  may  I  be 
permitted,  with  great  deference,  to  say  a  word  upon  a 
remark  that  fell  from  the  Chair,  and  which  might  be 
misunderstood  ?  Solitary  and  anomalous  instances  of 
this  kind  could  never  be  legitimately  used  as  arguments 
against  general  systems  of  representation  or  the  course 
of  a  recent  policy.  I  do  not,  at  this  moment,  venture  to 
pronounce  an  opinion  upon  the  degree  of  criminality 
that  attaches  to  the  hon.  member  now  unhappily  in  the 
custody  of  the  officer  of  the  House.  It  is  possible — I  do 
not  say  it  is  probable,  I  do  not  now  say  whether  I  shall 
be  prepared  to  commit  myself  to  that  hypothesis  or  not 
— but  it  is  not  impossible  that  the  hon.  member  or  some 
of  his  friends  may  be  able  to  urge  some  extenuating  cir- 
cumstances—  (Oh  !  oh  !)  —  I  mean  circumstances  that, 
when  duly  weighed,  may  have  a  tendency  in  a  greater  or 
less  degree  to  modify  the  Judgment  of  the  House  upon  the 
extraordinary  event  that  has  occurred.  Sir,  it  becomes 
a  great  people  and  a  great  assembly  like  this  to  be  patient, 
dignified,  and  generous.  The  honorable  member,  whom 
we  regret  to  see  in  his  present  position,  no  doubt  repre- 
sents a  phase  of  Irish  opinion  unfamiliar  to  this  House. 
(Cheers  and  laughter.)  .  .  .  The  House  is  naturally  in  a 
rather  excited  state  after  an  event  so  unusual,  and  I  vent- 
ure to  urge  that  it  should  not  hastily  proceed  to  action. 
We  must  be  careful  of  the  feelings  of  the  Irish  people. 
(Oh  !  oh  !)  If  we  are  to  govern  Ireland  according  to  Irish 
ideas  we  must  make  allowance  for  personal,  local,  and 

258 


PARODIES    IN    PROSE 

transitory  ebullitions  of  Irish  feeling,  having  no  general 
or  universal  consequence  or  bearing.  .  .  .  The  course, 
therefore,  which  I  propose  to  take  is  this — to  move  that 
the  hon.  member  shall  remain  in  the  custody  of  the  Ser- 
geant-at-Arms,  that  a  Committee  be  appointed  to  take 
evidence,  and  that  their  report  be  discussed  this  day 
month." 

To  this  replies  the  Leader  of  the  Opposition  : 
"  The  right  hon.  gentleman  is  to  be  congratulated  on 
the  results  of  his  Irish  policy.  (Cheers  and  laughter.) 
.  .  .  Sir,  this,  I  presume,  is  one  of  the  right  hon.  gen- 
tleman's contented  and  pacified  people  !  I  deeply  sym- 
pathize with  the  right  hon.  gentleman.  His  policy 
produces  strange  and  portentous  results.  A  policy  of 
concession,  of  confiscation,  of  truckling  to  ecclesiastical 
arrogance,  to  popular  passions  and  ignorant  prejudices, 
of  lenity  to  Fenian  revolutionists,  has  at  length  brought 
us  to  this,  that  the  outrages  of  Galway  and  Tipperary,  no 
longer  restricted  to  those  charming  counties,  no  longer 
restrained  to  even  Her  Majesty's  judges,  are  to  reach  the 
interior  of  this  House  and  the  august  person  of  its  Speak- 
er. (Cheers.)  Sir,  I  wash  my  hands  of  all  responsibility 
for  this  absurd  and  anomalous  state  of  things.  When- 
ever it  has  fallen  to  the  Tory  party  to  conduct  the  affairs 
of  Ireland,  they  have  consistently  pursued  a  policy  of 
mingled  firmness  and  conciliation  with  the  most  distin- 
guished success.  All  the  great  measures  of  reform  in 
Ireland  may  be  said  to  have  had  their  root  in  the  action 
of  the  Tory  party,  though,  as  usual,  the  praise  has  been 
appropriated  by  the  right  hon.  gentleman  and  his  allies. 
We  have  preferred,  instead  of  truckling  to  prejudice  or 
passion,  to  appeal,  and.  we  still  appeal,  to  the  sublime  in- 
stincts of  an  ancient  people  !" 

I  hope  that  an  unknown  author,  whose  skill  in  repro- 
ducing an  archaic  style  I  heartily  admire,  will  forgive  me 

259 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

for  qnoting  the  following  narrative  of  certain  doings  de- 
creed by  the  General  Post  Office  on  the  occasion  of  the 
Jubilee  of  the  Penny  Post.  Like  all  that  is  truly  good 
in  literature^  it  will  be  seen  that  this  narrative  was  not 
for  its  own  time  alone,  but  for  the  future,  and  has  its 
relevancy  to  events  of  the  present  day  : 

"1.  Now  it  came  to  pass  in  the  month  June  of  the 
Post-office  Jubilee,  that  Raikes,  the  Postmaster-General, 
said  to  himself,  Lo  !  an  opening  whereby  I  may  find 
grace  in  the  sight  of  the  Queen  ! 

"  2.  And  Raikes  appointed  an  Executive  Committee  ; 
and  Baines,  the  Inspector  -  General  of  Mails,  made  he 
Chairman. 

"  3.  He  called  also  Cardin,  the  Receiver  and  Account- 
ant-General ;  Preece,  Lord  of  the  Lightning ;  Thomp- 
son, the  Secretarial  Officer ;  and  Tombs,  the  Controller. 

"4.  Then  did  these  four  send  to  the  Heads  of  Depart- 
ments, the  Postmasters  and  Sub-Postmasters,  the  Letter 
Receivers,  the  Clerks-in-Charge,  the  Postal  Officers,  the 
Telegraphists,  the  Sorters,  the  Postmen ;  yea,  from  the 
lowest  even  unto  the  highest  sent  they  out. 

"5.  And  the  word  of  Baines  and  of  them  that  were 
with  him  went  forth  that  the  Jubilee  should  be  kept  by 
a  conversazione  at  the  South  Kensington  Museum  on 
Wednesday  the  second  day  of  the  month  July  in  the 
year  1890. 

"  6.  And  Victoria  the  Queen  became  a  patron  of  the 
Jubilee  celebration  ;  and  her  heart  was  stirred  within 
her ;  for  she  said.  For  three  whole  years  have  I  not  had 
a  Jubilee. 

"  7.  And  the  word  of  Baines  and  of  them  that  were 
with  him  went  forth  again  to  the  Heads  of  Departments, 
the  Postmasters  and  Sub  -  Postmasters,  the  Letter  Re- 
ceivers, the  Clerks-in-Charge,  the  Postal  Officers  and 
Telegraphists,  the  Sorters  and  the  Postmen. 

260 


PARODIES    IN    PROSE 

"  8.  Saying  unto  them,  Lo  I  the  Queen  is  become  Pa- 
tron of  the  Rowland  Hill  Memorial  and  Benevolent  Fund, 
and  of  the  conversazione  in  the  Museum ;  and  we  the 
Executive  Committee  bid  you,  from  the  lowest  even  to 
the  highest,  to  join  with  us  at  the  tenth  hour  of  the  con- 
versazione in  a  great  shouting  to  praise  the  name  of  the 
Queen  our  patron. 

"  9.  Each  man  in  his  Post  Office  at  the  tenth  hour 
shall  shout  upon  her  name  ;  and  a  record  thereof  shall  be 
sent  to  us  that  we  may  cause  its  memory  to  endure  for- 
ever. 

"  10.  Then  a  great  fear  came  upon  the  Postmasters, 
the  Sub -Postmasters,  and  the  Letter  Keceivers,  which 
were  bidden  to  make  thejecord. 

'"  11.  For  they  said.  If  those  over  whom  we  are  set  in 
authority  shout  not  at  the  tenth  hour,  and  we  send  an 
evil  report,  we  shall  surely  perish. 

"  12.  And  they  besought  their  men  to  shout  aloud  at 
the  tenth  hour,  lest  a  worse  thing  should  befall. 

**  13.  And  they  that  were  of  the  tribes  of  Nob  and  of 
Snob  rejoiced  with  an  exceeding  great  joy,  and  did  shout 
with  their  whole  might ;  so  that  their  voices  became  as 
the  voices  of  them  that  sell  tidings  in  the  street  at  night- 
fall. 

"  14.  But  the  Telegraphists  and  the  Sorters  and  the 
Postmen,  and  them  that  were  of  the  tribes  of  Rag  and  of 
Tag,  hardened  their  hearts,  and  were  silent  at  the  tenth 
hour ;  for  they  said  among  themselves,  *  Shall  the  poor 
man  shout  in  his  poverty,  and  the  hungry  celebrate  his 
lack  of  bread  ?' 

**  15.  Now  Preece,  Lord  of  Lightning,  had  wrought 
with  a  cord  of  metal  that  they  who  were  at  the  con- 
versazione might  hear  the  shouting  from  the  Post 
Offices. 

"16.  And  the  tenth  hour  came  ;  and  lo  !  there  was  no 
261 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

great  shout ;  and  the  tribes  of  Nob  and  Snob  were  as  the 
voice  of  men  calling  in  the  wilderness. 

"  17.  Then  was  the  wrath  of  Baines  kindled  against 
the  tribes  of  Rag  and  Tag  for  that  they  had  not  shouted 
according  to  his  word ;  and  he  commanded  that  their 
chief  men  and  counsellors  should  be  cast  out  of  the 
Queen's  Post  Office. 

"18.  And  Raikes,  the  Postmaster -General,  told  the 
Queen  all  the  travail  of  Baines,  the  Inspector-General, 
and  of  them  that  were  with  him,  and  how  they  had 
wrought  all  for  the  greater  glory  of  the  Queen's  name. 

''  19.  And  the  Queen  hearkened  to  the  word  of  Raikes, 
and  lifted  up  Baines  to  be  a  Centurion  of  the  Bath  ;  also 
she  placed  honors  upon  Cardin,  the  Receiver-General  and 
Accountant-General ;  upon  Preece,  Lord  of  Lightning  ; 
upon  Thompson,  the  Secretarial  Officer ;  and  upon 
Tombs,  the  Controller,  so  that  they  dazzled  the  eyes  of 
the  tribe  of  Snob,  and.  were  favorably  entreated  of  the 
sons  of  Nob. 

"  20.  And  they  lived  long  in  the  land ;  and  all  men 
said  pleasant  things  unto  them. 

"21.  But  they  of  Tag  and  of  Rag  that  had  been  cast 
out  were  utterly  forgotten  ;  so  that  they  were  fain  to  cry 
aloud,  saying,  '  How  long,  0  ye  honest  and  upright  in 
heart,  shall  Snobs  and  Nobs  be  rulers  over  us,  seeing  that 
they  are  but  men  like  unto  us,  though  they  imagine  us 
in  their  hearts  to  be  otherwise  ?' 

"22.  And  the  answer  is  not  yet." 


XXVIII 
PARODIES   IN   VERSE 

To-day  I  embark  on  the  shoreless  sea  of  metrical  paro- 
dy, and  I  begin  my  cruise  by  reaffirming  that  in  this  de- 
partment Rejected  Addresses,  though  distinctly  good  for 
their  time,  have  been  left  far  behind  by  modern  achieve- 
ments. The  sense  of  style  seems  to  have  grown  acuter, 
and  the  art  of  reproducing  it  has  been  brought  to  abso- 
lute perfection.  The  theory  of  development  is  instruc- 
tively illustrated  in  the  history  of  metrical  parody. 

Of  the  same  date  as  Rejected  Addresses,  Q,ndi  of  about 
equal  merit,  is  the  Poetry  of  the  Anti-Jacohin,  which  our 
grandfathers,  if  they  combined  literary  taste  with  Con- 
servative opinions,  were  never  tired  of  repeating.  The 
extraordinary  brilliancy  of  the  group  of  men  who  con- 
tributed to  it  guaranteed  the  general  character  of  the 
book.  Its  merely  satiric  verse  is  a  little  beside  my  pres- 
ent mark  ;  but  as  a  parody  the  ballad  of  Diihe  Smithson 
of  Northumberland,  founded  on  Chevy  Chase,  ranks  high, 
and  the  inscription  for  the  cell  in  Newgate,  where  Mrs. 
Brownrigg,  who  murdered  her  apprentices,  was  impris- 
oned, is  even  better.  Southey,  in  his  Eadical  youth,  had 
written  some  lines  on  the  cell  in  Chepstow  Castle  where 
Henry  Marten  the  Eegicide  was  confined  : 

"  For  thirty  years  secluded  from  mankind 
Here  Marten  lingered    .     .     . 

Dost  thou  ask  his  crime  ? 
He  had  rebell'd  against  the  King,  and  sate 
In  judgment  on  him." 
263 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 
Here  is  Canning's  parody  : 

"For  one  long  term,  or  e'er  her  trial  came, 
Here  Brownrigg  lingered    .     .    . 

Dost  thou  ask  her  crime  ? 
She  whipped  two  female  'prentices  to  death, 
And  hid  them  in  a  coal-hole." 

The  time  of  Rejected  Addresses  and  the  Anti-Jacobin 
was  also  the  heyday  of  parliamentary  quotation,  and  old 
parliamentary  hands  nsed  to  cite  a  happy  instance  of  in- 
stantaneous parody  by  Daniel  O'Connell,  who,  having 
noticed  that  the  speaker  to  whom  he  was  replying  had 
his  speech  written  out  in  his  hat,  immediately  likened 
him  to  Goldsmith's  village  schoolmaster,  saying  : 

"  And  still  they  gazed,  and  still  the  wonder  grew 
That  one  small  hat  could  carry  all  he  knew." 

Another  instance  of  the  same  kind  Avas  O'Connell's  ex- 
temporized description  of  three  ultra  -  Protestant  mem- 
bers, Colonel  Verner,  Colonel  Vandeleur,  and  Colonel 
Sibthorpe,  the  third  of  whom  was  conspicuous  in  a  closely 
shaven  age  for  his  profusion  of  facial  hair  : 

"  Three  Colonels,  in  three  different  counties  born, 
Armagh  and  Clare  and  Lincoln  did  adorn. 
The  first  in  direst  bigotry  surpassed : 
The  next  in  impudence :  in  both  the  last. 
The  force  of  nature  could  no  further  go — 
To  beard  the  third,  she  shaved  the  former  two. " 

A  similarly  happy  turn  to  an  old  quotation  was  given 
by  Baron  Parke,  afterwards  Lord  Wensleydale.  His  old 
friend  and  comrade  at  the  Bar,  Sir  David  Dundas,  had 
just  been  appointed  Solicitor-General,  and,  in  reply  to 
Baron  Parke's  invitation  to  dinner,  he  wrote  that  he 
could  not  accept  it,  as  he  had  been  already  invited  by 

264 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

seven  peers  for  the  same  evening.    He  promptly  received 
the  following  couplets : 

"  Seven  thriving  cities  fight  for  Homer  dead 
Through  which  the  living  Homer  begged  his  bread." 


"  Seven  noble  Lords  ask  Davie  to  break  bread 
Who  wouldn't  care  a  d were  Davie  dead." 

The  Ingoldshy  Legends — long  since,  I  believe,  deposed 
from  their  position  in  public  favor — were  published  in 
1840.  Their  principal  merits  are  a  vein  of  humor,  rol- 
licking and  often  coarse,  but  genuine  and  infectious  ; 
great  command  over  unusual  metres  ;  and  an  unequalled 
ingenuity  in  making  double  and  treble  rhymes — e.g. : 

"  The  poor  little  page,  too,  himself  got  no  quarter,  but 
Was  found  the  next  day  with  his  head  in  the  water-butt." 

There  is  a  general  flavor  of  parody  about  most  of  the 
ballads.  It  does  not  as  a  rule  amount  to  more  than  a 
rather  clumsy  mockery  of  mediaevalism,  but  the  verses 
prefixed  to  the  Lag  of  St.  Geyigulphus  are  really  rather 
like  a  fragment  of  a  black-letter  ballad.  The  book  con- 
tains only  one  parody,  borrowed  from  Samuel  Lover's 
Lyrics  of  Ireland,  and  then  the  result  is  truly  offensive, 
for  the  poem  which  he  chooses  for  his  experiment  is  one 
of  the  most  beautiful  in  the  language — the  Burial  of  Sir 
John  Moore,  which  is  transmuted  into  a  stupid  story  of 
vulgar  debauch.  Of  much  the  same  date  as  the  Ingolds- 
hy  Legends  was  the  Old  Curiosity  Shop,  and  no  one  who 
has  a  really  scholarly  acquaintance  with  Dickens  will  for- 
get the  delightful  scraps  of  Tom  Moore's  amatory  ditties 
with  which,  slightly  adapted  to  current  circumstances, 
Dick  Swiveller  used  to  console  himself  when  Destiny 
seemed  too  strong  for  him.  And  it  will  be  remembered 
that  Mr.  Slum  composed  some  very  telling  parodies  of 

265 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

the  same  popular  author  as  advertisements  for  Mrs.  Jar- 
ley's  AVaxworks ;  but  I  forbear  to  quote  here  what  is  so 
easily  accessible. 

By  way  of  tracing  the  development  of  the  Art  of  Par- 
ody, I  am  taking  my  samples  in  chronological  order.  In 
1845  the  Newdigate  Prize  for  an  English  poem  at  Oxford 
was  won  by  J.  W.  Burgon,  afterwards  Dean  of  Chichester. 
The  subject  was  Petra.  The  successful  poem  was,  on 
the  whole,  not  much  better  and  not  much  worse  than 
the  general  run  of  such  compositions ;  but  it  contained 
one  couplet  which  Dean  Stanley  regarded  as  an  absolute 
gem — a  volume  of  description  condensed  into  two  lines  : 

"  Match  me  such  marvel,  save  in  Eastern  clime — 
A  rose-red  city,  half  as  old  as  time." 

The  couplet  was  universally  praised  and  quoted,  and,  as 
a  natural  consequence,  parodied.  There  resided  then 
(and  long  after)  at  Trinity  College,  Oxford,  an  extraor- 
dinarily old  don  called  Short.  When  I  was  an  under- 
graduate he  was  still  tottering  about,  and  there  was  a 
tradition — based  on  what  authority  I  know  not — that  the 
great  Sir  Robert  Peel  had  "  coached  "  with  him  for  his 
degree.  To  his  case  the  University  parodists  instantly 
adapted  Burgon's  beautiful  couplet,  saying  thus  : 

"  Match  rne  such  marvel,  save  in  college  port — 
That  rose-red  liquor,  half  as  old  as  Short." 

In  1845  the  poet  of  Young  England  was  the  present 
Duke  of  Rutland,  who,  as  Lord  John  Manners,  produced 
in  England's  Trust  some  chivalric  songs  which,  in  their 
own  way,  have  never  been  surpassed.  I  suppose  there 
has  seldom  been  a  couplet  so  often  or  so  deservedly 
quoted  as  : 

*'  Let  wealth  and  commerce,  laws  and  learning  die. 
But  leave  us  still  our  old  nobility." 
266 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

Far  better  than  any  parody  is  this  chivalric  aspiration 
from  the  same  poem  : 

"  Oh  !  would  some  noble  dare  again  to  raise 
The  feudal  banner  of  forgotten  days, 
And  live,  despising  slander's  harmless  hate, 
The  potent  ruler  of  his  petty  state  ! 
Then  would  the  different  classes  once  again 
Feel  the  kind  pressure  of  the  social  chain." 

All  this  medifeval  mnmmery  was  peculiarly  distasteful  to 
the  mordant  mind  of  Thackeray,  and  he  made  fun  of 
Lord  John's  chivalric  aspirations  in  Lord  Southdown's 
Lines  upon  my  Sister's  Portrait : 

"  The  castle  towers  of  Bareacres  are  fair  upon  the  lea. 
Where  the  cliffs  of  bonny  Diddlesex  rise  up   from  out  the 

sea: 
I  stood  upon  the  doujon-keep — it  is  a  sacred  place, 
Where   floated  for  eight  hundred  years  the  banner   of  my 

race. 
Argent,  a  dexter  sinople,  and  gules  an  azure  field — 
There    ne'er    was   nobler   cognizance   on   knightly   warrior's 

shield." 

The  Ballads  of  Bon  Gaultier,  published  anonymously 
in  1855,  had  a  success  which  would  only  have  been  pos- 
sible at  a  time  when  really  artistic  parodies  were  un- 
known. Bon  Gaultier's  verses  are  not  as  a  rule  much 
more  than  rough  -  and  -  ready  imitations  ;  and,  like  so 
much  of  the  humor  of  their  day,  and  of  Scotch  humor 
in  particular,  they  generally  depend  for  their  point  upon 
drinking  and  drunkenness.  Some  of  the  different  forms 
of  the  Puff  Poetical  are  amusing,  especially  the  advertise- 
ment of  Doudney  Brothers'  waistcoats,  and  the  Puff 
Direct  in  which  Parr's  Life-pills  are  glorified  after  the 
manner  of  a  German  ballad.  The  Laureate  is  a  fair  hit 
at  some  of  Tennyson's  earlier  mannerisms  : 

267 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

"  Who  would  not  be 
The  Laureate  bold. 
With  his  butt  of  sherry        ' 
To  keep  him  merry, 
And  nothiug  to  do  but  pocket  his  gold  ?" 

But  The  Lay  of  the  Lovelorn  is  a  clumsy  and  rather  vul- 
gar skit  oil  Locksley  Hall — a  poem  on  which  two  such 
writers  as  Sir  Theodore  Martin  and  Professor  Aytoun 
would  have  done  well  not  to  lay  their  sacrilegious  hands. 
We  have  now  passed  through  the  middle  stage  of  the 
development  which  I  am  trying  to  trace  ;  we  are  leaving 
clumsiness  and  vulgarity  behind  us,  and  are  approaching 
the  age  of  perfection.  Sir  George  Trevelyan's  parodies 
are  transitional.  He  was  born  in  1838,  three  times  won 
the  prize  poem  at  Harrow,  and  brought  out  his  Cam- 
bridge squibs  in  and  soon  after  the  year  1858.  Horace 
at  the  University  of  Athens,  originally  written  for  acting 
at  the  famous  "  A.D.C.,"  still  holds  its  own  as  one  of  the 
wittiest  of  extravaganzas.  It  contains  a  really  pretty  im- 
itation of  the  10th  Eclogue,  and  it  is  studded  with  im- 
itations of  Horace  adapted  to  the  events  of  under- 
graduate life,  of  which  the  only  possible  fault  is  that, 
for  the  general  reader,  they  are  too  topical.     Here  is  a 

sample  : 

"  'Donee  gratus  eram  tibi.' 

"  Hot.  While  still  you  loved  your  Horace  best 
Of  all  my  peers  who  round  you  pressed 
(Though  not  in  expurgated  versions), 
More  proud  I  lived  than  King  of  Persians. 

"  Lyd.  And  while  as  yet  no  other  dame 

Had  kindled  in  your  breast  a  flame 
(Though  Niebuhr  her  existence  doubt), 
I  cut  historic  Ilia  out. 

"  Hor.  Dark  Chloe  now  my  homage  owns. 
Skilled  on  the  banjo  and  the  bones ; 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

For  whom  I  would  not  fear  to  die, 
If  death  would  paas  my  charmer  by. 

"  Lyd.  I  now  am  lodging  at  the  rus- 
In-urbe  of  young  Decius  Mus. 
Twice  over  would  I  gladly  die 
To  see  him  hit  in  either  eye. 

"Hot.  But  should  the  old  love  come  again, 
And  Lydia  her  sway  retain, 
If  to  my  heart  once  more  I  take  her, 
And  bid  black  Chloe  wed  the  baker  ? 

"Lyd.  Though  you  be  treacherous  as  audit 

When  at  the  fire  you've  lately  thawed  it, 
For  Decius  Mus  no  more  I'd  care 
Than  for  their  plate  the  Dons  of  Clare." 

Really  this  is  a  much  better  rendering  of  the  famous 
ode  than  nine-tenths  of  its  more  pompous  competitors  ; 
and  the  allusions  to  the  perfidious  qualities  of  Trinity 
Audit  Ale  and  the  mercenary  conduct  of  the  Fellows  of 
Clare  need  no  explanation  for  Cambridge  readers,  and 
little  for  others.  But  it  may  be  fairly  objected  that  this 
is  not,  in  strictness,  a  parody.  That  is  true,  and  indeed 
as  a  parodist  Sir  George  Trevelyan  belongs  to  the  metri- 
cal miocene.  His  Horace,  when  serving  as  a  volunteer 
in  the  Republican  Army,  bursts  into  a  pretty  snatch  of 
song  which  has  a  flavor  of  Moore  : 

"  The  minstrel  boy  from  the  wars  is  gone, 
All  out  of  breath  you'll  find  him  ; 
He  has  run  some  five  miles,  off  and  on, 
And  his  shield  has  flung  behind  him." 

And  the  Bedmaker's  Song  in  one  of  the  Cambridge 
scenes  is  sweetly  reminiscent  of  a  delightful  and  for- 
gotten bard  : 

269 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

"  I  make  the  butter  fly,  all  in  an  hour; 

I  put  aside  the  preserves  and  cold  meats, 

Telling  my  master  the  cream  has  turned  sour, 

Hiding  the  pickles,  purloining  the  sweets. 

"  I  never  languish  for  husband  or  dower  ; 
I  never  sigh  to  see  '  gyps '   at  my  feet ; 
I  make  the  butter  fly,  all  in  an  hour. 
Taking  it  home  for  my  Saturday  treat." 

This,  unless  I  greatly  err,  is  a  very  good  parody  of 
Thomas  Ilaynes  Bayly,  author  of  some  of  the  most  pop- 
ular songs  of  a  sentimental  cast  which  were  chanted  in 
our  youth  and  before  it.  But  this  is  ground  on  which  I 
must  not  trench,  for  Mr.  Andrew  Lang  has  made  it  his 
own.  The  most  delightful  essay  in  one  of  his  books  of 
Keprints  deals  with  this  amazing  bard,  and  contains 
some  parodies  so  perfect  that  Mr.  Haynes  Bayly  would 
have  rejoicingly  claimed  them  as  his  own. 

Charles  Stuart  Calverley  is  by  common  consent  the 
king  of  metrical  parodists.  All  who  went  before  merely 
adumbrated  him  and  led  up  to  him  ;  all  who  have  come 
since  are  descended  from  him  and  reflect  him.  Of  course 
he  was  infinitely  more  than  a  mere  imitator  of  rhymes 
and  rhythms.  He  was  a  true  poet ;  he  was  one  of  the 
most  graceful  scholars  that  Cambridge  ever  produced  ; 
and  all  his  exuberent  fun  was  based  on  a  broad  and 
strong  foundation  of  Greek,  Latin,  and  English  litera- 
ture. Verses  and  Translations,  hy  C.  8.  C,  which  ap- 
peared in  1862,  was  a  young  man's  book,  although  its 
author  had  already  established  his  reputation  as  a  hum- 
orist by  the  inimitable  Examination-Paper  on  Pickivich  ; 
and,  being  a  young  man's  book,  it  was  a  book  of  unequal 
merit.  The  translations  I  leave  on  one  side,  as  lying 
outside  my  present  purview,  only  remarking  as  I  pass 
that  if  there  is  a  finer  rendering  than  that  of  Ajax — C45- 
092 — I  do  not  know  where  it  is  to  be  found.     My  busi- 

270 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

ness  is  with  the  parodies.  It  was  not  till  ten  years  later 
that  in  Fly  Leaves  Calverley  asserted  his  supremacy  in 
the  art,  but  even  in  Verses  and  Translations  he  gave 
good  promise  of  what  was  to  be. 

Of  all  poems  in  the  world,  I  suppose  Horatius  has 
been  most  frequently  and  most  justly  parodied.  Every 
Public  School  magazine  contains  at  least  one  parody  of  it 
every  year.  In  my  Oxford  days  there  was  current  an  ad- 
mirable version  of  it  (attributed  to  the  Rev.  W.  W.  Merry, 
now  Rector  of  Lincoln  College),  which  began — 

"  Augustus  Smalls,  of  Boniface, 
By  all  the  powers  he  swore 
That,  though  he  had  been  ploughed  three  times, 
He  would  be  ploughed  no  more," 

and  traced  with  curious  fidelity  the  successive  steps  in 
the  process  of  preparation  till  the  dreadful  day  of  exam- 
ination arrived  : 

' '  They  said  he  made  strange  quantities, 

Which  none  might  make  but  he  ; 
And  that  strange  things  were  in  his  Prose, 

Canine  to  a  degree ; 
But  they  called  his  Viva  Voce  fair, 

They  said  his  '  Books '  would  do  ; 
And  native  cheek,  where  facts  were  weak, 

Brought  him  triumphant  through. 
And  in  each  Oxford  college 

In  the  dim  November  daj^s, 
When  undergraduates  fresh  from  hall 

Are  gathering  round  the  blaze  ; 
When  the  '  crusted  port '  is  circling, 

And  the  Moderator's  lit, 
And  the  weed  glows  in  the  Freshman's  mouth, 

And  makes  him  turn  to  spit ; 
With  laughing  and  with  chaffing 

The  story  they  renew, 
How  Smalls  of  Boniface  went  in, 

And  actually  got  through." 
271 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

So  much  for  the  Oxford  rendering  of  Macaulay's  fa- 
mous lay.  "  C.  S.  C."  thus  adapted  it  to  Cambridge,  and 
to  a  different  aspect  of  undergraduate  life  : 

"  On  pinnacled  St.  Mary's 

Lingers  the  setting  sun  ; 
Into  the  street  the  blackguards 

Are  skulking  one  by  one ; 
Butcher  and  Boots  and  Bargeman 

Lay  pipe  and  pewter  down, 
And  with  wild  shout  come  tumbling  out 

To  join  the  Town  and  Gown. 


"  'Twere  long  to  tell  how  Boxer 
Was  countered  on  the  cheek, 
And  knocked  into  the  middle 
Of  the  ensuing  week  ; 
How  Barnacles  the  Freshman 

Was  asked  his  name  and  college, 
And  how  he  did  the  fatal  facts 
Reluctantly  acknowledge." 

Quite  different,  but  better  because  more  difficult,  is 
this  essay  in  Proverbial  Philosophy : 

I  heard  the  wild  notes  of  the  lark  floating  far  over  the  blue  sky, 
And  my  foolish  heart  went  after  him,  and,  lo  I  I  blessed  him  as  he 

rose  ; 
Foolish  !  for  far  better  is  the  trained  boudoir  bullfinch. 
Which  pipeth  the  semblance  of  a  tune  and  mechanically  draweth 

up  water. 
For  verily,  O  my  daughter,  the  world  is  a  masquerade, 
And  God  made  thee  one  thing  that  thou  mightest  make  thyself  an- 
other. 
A  maiden's  heart  is  as  champagne,  ever  aspiring  and  struggling. 
And  it  needed  that  its  motions  be  checked  by  the  silvered  cork  of 

Propriety. 
He  that  can  afford  the  price,  his  be  the  precious  treasure, 
Let  him  drink  deeply  of  its  sweetness,  nor  grumble  if  it  tasteth  of 
the  cork. 

273 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

Enoch  Arden  was  published  in  1864,  and  was  not  en- 
thusiastically received  by  true  lovers  of  Tennyson,  though 
people  who  had  never  read  him  before  thought  it  wonder- 
fully fine.  A  cousin  of  mine  always  contended  that  the 
story  ended  wrongly,  and  that  the  truly  human,  and  there- 
fore dramatic,  conclusion  would  have  been  as  follows  : 

"For  Philip's  dwelling  fronted  on  the  street, 
And  Enoch,  coming,  saw  the  house  a  blaze 
Of  light,  and  Annie  drinking  from  a  mug — 
A  funny  mug,  all  blue,  with  strange  device 
Of  birds  and  waters  and  a  little  man. 
And  Philip  held  a  bottle ;  and  a  smell 
Of  strong  tobacco,  with  a  fainter  smell — 
But  still  a  smell,  and  quite  distinct — of  gin, 
Was  there.     He  raised  the  latch,  aad,  stealing  by 
The  cupboard,  where  a  row  of  teacups  stood, 
Hard  by  the  genial  hearth,  he  paused  behind 
The  luckless  pair ;  then  drawing  back  his  foot — 
His  manly  foot,  all  clad  in  sailors'  hose — 
He  swung  it  forth  with  such  a  grievous  kick 
That  Philip,  in  a  moment,  was  propelled 
Against  his  wife,  though  not  his  wife  ;  and  she 
Fell  forwards,  smashing  saucers,  cups,  and  jug  ; 
Fell  in  a  heap.     All  shapeless  on  the  floor 
Philip  and  Annie  and  the  crockery  lay. 
Then  Enoch's  voice  accompanied  his  foot, 
For  both  were  raised,  with  horrid  oath  and  kick, 
Till  constables  came  in  with  Miriam  Lane 
And  bare  them  all  to  prison,  railing  loud. 
Then  Philip  was  discharged  and  ran  away. 
And  Enoch  paid  a  fine  for  the  assault  ; 
And  Annie  went  to  Philip,  telling  him  * 

That  she  would  see  old  Enoch  further  first 
Before  she  would  acknowledge  him  to  be 
Himself,  if  Philip  only  would  return. 
But  Philip  said  that  he  would  rather  not. 
Then  Annie  plucked  such  handfuls  of  his  hair 
Out  of  his  head  that  he  was  nearly  bald. 
But  Enoch  laughed  and  said,  'Well  done,  my  girl.' 
And  so  the  two  shook  hands  and  made  it  up." 
8  273 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

In  1869  Lewis  Carroll  published  a  little  book  of  rhymes 
called  Phantasmagoria.  It  chiefly  related  to  Oxford. 
Partly  because  it  was  anonymous,  partly  because  it  was 
mainly  topical,  the  book  had  no  success.  But  it  con- 
tained two  or  three  parodies  which  deserve  to  rank  with 
the  best  in  the  language.  Unluckily  I  have  not  the 
book  at  hand,  and  if  I  give  samples  it  must  be  from 
memory,  and  therefore  with  some  risk  of  slips.  One 
that  I  remember  is  an  imitation  of  a  ballad  in  black- 
letter.     It  runs  something  like  this  : 

"I  have  a  horse,  a  right  good  horse  ; 

Ne  do  I  envy  those 
Who  onward  urge  their  heady  course 

Till  sodayne  on  their  nose 
They  light  with  unexpected  force — 

It  is  a  Horse  of  Clothes." 

Then,  again,  there  is  excellent  metaphysical  foolmg  in 
The  Three  Voices.  But  far  the  best  parody  in  the  book 
— and  the  most  richly  deserved  by  the  absurdity  of  its 
original  —  is  Hiaiuatha' s  Photographing.  It  has  the 
double  merit  of  absolute  similarity  in  cadence  and  life- 
like realism.  Here  again  I  rely  on  memory,  and  the 
limits  of  space  forbid  complete  citation  : 

"From  his  shoulders  Hiawatha 
Took  the  camera  of  rosewood, 
Made  of  folding,  sliding  rosewood. 
In  its  case  it  lay  compacted, 
Folded  into  next  to  nothing. 
«  But  he  pulled  the  joints  and  hinges, 

Pulled  and  pushed  the  jointe  and  hinges, 
Till  it  looked  all  squares  and  oblongs. 
Like  a  complicated  figure 
In  the  Second  Book  of  Euclid. 
This  he  perched  upon  a  tripod, 
And  the  family  in  order 
Sate  before  it  for  their  portraits. 
274 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

Mystic,  awful  was  the  process. 

Every  one  as  he  was  taken 

Volunteered  his  own  suggestions, 

His  invaluable  suggestions. 

First  the  Governor,  the  Father. 

He  suggested  velvet  curtains, 

And  the  corner  of  a  table. 

Of  a  rosewood  diniog-table. 

He  would  hold  a  scroll  of  something ; 

Hold  it  firmly  in  his  left  hand  ; 

He  would  have  his  right  hand  buried 

(Like  Napoleon)  in  his  waistcoat ; 

He  would  contemplate  the  distance. 

With  a  look  of  pensive  meaning, 

As  of  ducks  that  die  in  thunder. 

Grand,  heoric,  was  the  notion, 

Yet  the  picture  failed  completely, 

Failed,  because  he  moved  a  little ; 

Moved,  because  he  could  not  help  it." 

Who  does  not  know  that  Father  in  the  flesh  ?  anc? 
who  has  not  seen  him — velvet  curtains,  dining-table, 
scroll,  and  all — on  the  most  conspicuous  wall  of  the 
Royal  Academy  ?    The  Father  being  disposed  of, 

"Next  his  better  half  took  courage, 
She  would  have  her  portrait  taken." 

But  her  restlessness  and  questionings  proved  fatal  to  the 
result. 

"Next  the  son,  the  Stunning  Cantab. 
He  suggested  curves  of  beauty. 
Curves  pervading  all  the  figure, 
Which  the  eye  might  follow  onward,  ' 

Till  they  centred  in  the  breastpin, 
Centred  in  the  golden  breastpin. 
He  had  learnt  it  all  from  Ruskin, 
Author  of  the  Stones  of  Venice." 

But,  in    spite   of  such   culture,  the  portrait   was   a 
275 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

failure,  and  the  elder  sister  fared  no  better.  Then  the 
younger  brother  followed,  and  his  portrait  was  so  awful 
that — 

"By  comparison,  the  others 

Might  be  thought  to  have  succeeded — 

To  have  partially  succeeded." 

Undaunted  by  these  repeated  failures,  Hiawatha,  by  a 
great  final  effort,  "tumbled  all  the  tribe  together  "in 
the  manner  of  a  family  group,  and — 

"Did  at  last  obtain  a  picture 
Where  the  faces  all  succeeded, 
Each  came  out  a  perfect  likeness. 
Then  they  joined  and  all  abused  it. 
Unrestrainedly  abused  it, 
As  the  worst  and  ugliest  picture 
They  could  possibly  have  dreamed  of; 
Giving  one  such  strange  expressions, 
Sulkiness,  conceit,  and  meanness. 
Really  any  one  would  take  us 
(Any  one  who  didn't  know  us) 
For  the  most  unpleasant  people. 
Hiawatha  seemed  to  think  so, 
Seemed  to  think  it  not  unlikely." 

How  true  to  life  is  this  final  touch  of  indignation  at 
the  unflattering  truth  !  But  time  and  space  forbid  me 
further  to  pursue  the  photographic  song  of  Hiawatha. 

Phantasmagoria  filled  an  aching  void  during  the  ten 
years  which  elapsed  between  the  appearance  of  Verses 
and  Translations  and  that  of  Fly  Leaves.  The  latter 
book  is  small,  only  124  pages  in  all,  including  the  Pic- 
wick  Examination-Paper,  but  what  marvels  of  mirth 
and  poetry  and  satire  it  contains  !  How  secure  its  place 
in  the  affections  of  all  who  love  the  gentle  art  of  parody  ! 
My  rule  is  not  to  quote  extensively  from  books  which 
are  widely  known ;  but  I  must  give  myself  the  pleasure 

276 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

of  quoting  just  six  lines  which  even  appreciative  critics 
generally  overlook.  They  relate  to  the  conversation  of 
the  travelling  tinker : 

"  Thus  on  he  prattled  like  a  babbling  brook. 
Then  I :  '  The  sun  hath  slipt  behind  the  hill, 
And  my  Aunt  Vivian  dines  at  half-past  six.' 
So  in  all  love  we  parted  ;  I  to  the  Hall, 
He  to  the  village.     It  was  noised  next  noon 
That  chickens  had  been  miss'd  at  Syllabub  Farm." 

Will  any  one  stake  his  literary  reputation  on  the  asser- 
tion that  these  lines  are  not  really  Tennyson's  ? 


XXIX 

PARODIES   IN   VERSE 

When  I  embarked  upon  the  subject  of  metrical  parody 
I  said  that  it  was  a  shoreless  sea.  For  my  own  part,  I 
enjoy  sailing  through  these  rippling  waters,  and  cannot 
be  induced  to  hurry  the  pace.  Let  us  put  in  for  a  mo- 
ment at  Belfast.  There  in  1874  the  British  Association 
held  its  annual  meeting,  and  Professor  Tyndall  delivered 
an  inaugural  address  in  which  he  revived  and  glorified 
the  Atomic  Theory  of  the  Universe.  His  glowing  pero- 
ration ran  as  follows  :  ''  Here  I  must  quit  a  theme  too 
great  for  me  to  handle,  but  which  will  be  handled  by 
the  loftiest  minds  ages  after  you  and  I,  like  streaks  of 
morning  cloud,  shall  have  melted  into  the  infinite  azure 
of  the  past."  Shortly  afterwards  BlackivoocVs  Magazine, 
always  famous  for  its  humorous  and  satiric  verse,  pub- 
lished a  rhymed  abstract  of  Tyndall's  address,  of  which 
I  quote  (from  memory)  the  concluding  lines  : 

"  Let   us  greatly  honor  the   Atom,   so  lively,  so  wise,   and   so 
small ; 

The  Atomists,  too,  let  us  honor — Epicurus,  Lucretius,  and  all. 

Let  UB  damn  with  faint  praise  Bishop  Butler,  in  whom  many 
atoms  combined 

To   form   that  remarkable  structure  which  it  pleased  him  to 
call  his  mind. 

Next  praise  we  the  noble  body  to  which,  for  the  time,  we  be- 
long 

(Ere  yet  the  swift  course  of  the  Atom  hath  hurried  us  breath- 
less along) — 

278 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

The  British  Association— like  Leviathan  worshipped  by  Hobbes, 
The  incarnation  of  wisdom  built  up  of  our  witless  nobs  ; 
Which  will  carry  on  endless  discussion  till  I,  and  probably  you, 
Have  melted  in  infinite  azure — and,  in  short,  till  all  is  blue." 

Surely  this  translation  of  the  Professor's  misplaced 
dithyrambics  into  the  homeliest  of  colloquialisms  is 
both  good  parody  and  just  criticism. 

In  1876  there  appeared  a  clever  little  book  (attributed 
to  Sir  Frederick  Pollock)  which  was  styled  Leading 
Cases  done  into  English,  hy  an  Ajjprentice  of  Lincoln's 
Inn.  It  appealed  only  to  a  limited  public,  for  it  is  act- 
ually a  collection  of  sixteen  important  law  cases  set  forth, 
with  explanatory  notes,  in  excellent  verse,  imitated  from 
poets  great  and  small.  Chaucer,  Browning,  Tennyson, 
Swinburne,  Clough,  Rossetti,  and  James  Rhoades  supply 
the  models,  and  I  have  been  credibly  informed  that  the 
law  is  as  good  as  the  versification.  Mr.  Swinburne  was 
in  those  days  the  favorite  butt  of  young  parodists,  and 
the  gem  of  the  book  is  the  dedication  to  "  J.  S.,"  or 
"  John  Styles,"  a  mythical  person,  nearly  related  to 
John  Doe  and  Richard  Eoe,  with  whom  all  budding 
jurists  had  in  old  days  to  make  acquaintance.  The  dis- 
appearance of  the  venerated  initials  from  modern  law- 
books inspired  the  following  : 

"  When  waters  are  rent  with  commotion 

Of  storms,  or  with  sunlight  made  whole, 
The  river  still  pours  to  the  ocean 

The  stream  of  its  effluent  soul  ; 
You,  too,  from  all  lips  of  all  living, 

Of  worship  disthroned  and  discrowned, 
Shall  know  by  these  gifts  of  my  giving 

That  faith  is  yet  found  ; 

"  By  the  sight  of  my  song-flight  of  cases 
That  bears,  on  wings  woven  of  rhyme, 
Names  set  for  a  sign  in  high  places 
By  sentence  of  men  of  old  time ; 
279 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

From  all  counties  they  meet  and  they  mingle, 

Dead  suitors  whom  Westminster  saw  ; 
They  are  many,  but  your  name  is  single, 

Pure  flower  of  pure  law. 

"  So  I  pour  you  this  drink  of  my  verses, 

Of  learning  made  lovely  with  lays, 
Song  bitter  and  sweet  that  rehearses 

The  deeds  of  your  eminent  days ; 
Yea,  in  these  evil  days  from  their  reading 

Some  profit  a  student  shall  draw, 
Though  some  points  are  of  obsolete  pleading. 

And  some  are  not  law. 

"  Though  the  Courts,  that  were  manifold,  dwindle 

To  divers  Divisions  of  One, 
And  on  fire  from  your  face  may  rekindle 

The  light  of  old  learning  undone  ; 
We  have  suitors  and  briefs  for  our  payment, 

While,  so  long  as  a  Court  shall  hold  pleas, 
We  talk  moonshine  with  wigs  for  our  raiment, 

Not  sinking  the  fees." 

Some  five  -  and  -  twenty  years  ago  there  appeared  the 
first  number  of  a  magazine  called  The  Dark  Blue.  It 
was  published  in  London,  but  was  understood  to  repre- 
sent in  some  occult  way  the  thought  and  life  of  Young 
Oxford,  and  its  contributors  were  mainly  Oxford  men. 
The  first  number  contained  an  amazing  ditty  called  "  The 
Sun  of  my  Songs."  It  was  dark,  and  mystic,  and  trans- 
cendental, and  unintelligible.  It  dealt  extensively  in 
strange  words  and  cryptic  phrases.  One  verse  I  must 
transcribe  : — 

"  Yet  all  your  song 
Is — '  Ding  dong, 
Summer  is  dead, 
Spring  is  dead — 
O  my  heart,  and  O  my  head  1 
280 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

Go  a-singing  a  silly  song, 
All  wrong, 
For  all  is  dead. 

Ding  dong, 
And  I  am  dead  ! 

Dong  !'  " 

I  quote  thus  fully  because  Cambridge,  never  backward 
in  poking  fun  at  her  more  romantic  sister  on  the  Isis, 
shortly  afterwards  produced  an  excellent  little  magazine 
named  sarcastically  The  Light  Green,  and  devoted  to  the 
ridicule  of  its  cerulean  rival.  The  poem  from  which  I 
have  just  quoted  was  thus  burlesqued,  if  indeed  bur- 
lesque of  such  a  composition  were  possible  : 

"  Ding  dong,  ding  dong, 
There  goes  the  gong ; 
Dick,  come  along, 

It  is  time  for  dinner. 
Wash  your  face, 
Take  your  place. 
Where's  your  grace. 

You  little  sinner  ? 
Baby  cry. 
Wipe  his  eye. 
Baby  good, 
Give  him  food. 
Baby  sleepy, 
Go  to  bed. 
Baby  naughty. 
Smack  his  head  !" 

The  Light  Green,  which  had  only  an  ephemeral  life,  was, 
I  have  always  heard,  entirely,  or  almost  entirely,  the 
work  of  one  undergraduate.  I  believe  that  his  name 
was  Hilton,  and  that  he  died  young.  Beyond  that  I 
have  never  been  able  to  get  any  account  of  him  ;  but  he 
certainly  had  the  knack  of  catching  and  reproducing 
style.     The  ''  May  Exam."  is  a  really  good  imitation  of 

381 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

**The  May  Qneen."    The  departing  undergraduate  thus 
addresses  his  "gyp "  : 

"When  the  men  come  up  again,  Filcher,  and  the  Term  is  at  its 
height, 
You'll  never  see  me  more  iu  these  long  gay  rooms  at  night ; 
When  the  '  old  dry  wines '  are  circling,  and  the  claret-cup  flows 

cool. 
And  the  loo  is  fast  and  furious,  with  a  fiver  in  the  pool." 

In  1872  Lewis  Carroll  brought  out  Through  the  LooTc- 
ing-glnss,  and  every  one  who  has  ever  read  that  pretty 
work  of  poetic  fancy,  will  remember  the  ballad  of  the 
Walrus  and  the  Carpenter.  It  was  parodied  in  The 
Light  Green  under  the  title  of  the  ''Vulture  and  the 
Husbandman."  This  poem  described  the  agonies  of  a 
viva-voce  examination,  and  it  derived  its  title  from  two 
facts  of  evil  omen — that  the  Vulture  plucks  its  victim, 
and  that  the  Husbandman  makes  his  living  by  plough- 
ing: 

"  Two  undergraduates  came  up, 
And  slowly  took  a  seat, 
They  kuit  their  brows,  and  bit  their  thumbs, 

As  if  they  found  them  sweet  ; 
And  this  was  odd,  because,  you  know, 
Thumbs  are  not  good  to  eat. 

"  'The  time  has  come,'  the  Vulture  said, 

'  To  talk  of  many  things — 
Of  Accidence  and  Adjectives, 

And  names  of  Jewish  Kings  ; 
How  many  notes  a  Sackbut  has, 

And  whether  Shawms  have  strings.' 

"'Please,  sir,'  the  Undergraduates  said, 
Turning  a  little  blue, 
♦We  did  not  know  that  was  the  sort 

Of  thing  we  had  to  do.' 
'We  thank  you  much,'  the  Vulture  said; 
'Send  up  another  two.'" 
283 


TAKODIES    IN    VEUSE 

The  base  expedients  to  which  an  examination  reduces 
its  victims  are  hit  off  with  much  dexterity  in  "The 
Heathen  Pass-ee  " — a  parody  of  an  American  poem  which 
is  too  familiar  to  justify  quotation  : 

"Tom  Crib  was  his  name, 

And  I  shall  not  deny, 
In  regard  to  the  same. 

What  that  name  might  imply ; 
But  his  face  it  was  trustful  and  childlike, 

And  he  had  the  most  innocent  eye. 


"  On  the  cuffs  of  his  shirt 

He  had  managed  to  get 
What  he  hoped  had  been  dirt. 

But  which  proved,  I  regret. 
To  be  notes  on  the  Rise  of  the  Drama — 

A  question  invariably  set. 

"  In  the  crown  of  his  cap 

Were  the  Furies  and  Fates, 
And  a  delicate  map 

Of  the  Dorian  States  ; 
And  we  found  in  his  palms,  which  were  hollow, 

What  are  frequent  in  palms — that  is,  dates." 

Deservedly  dear  to  the  heart  of  English  youth  are  the 
Nonsense  Rhymes  of  Edward  Lear.  It  will  be  recol- 
lected that  the  form  of  the  verse  as  originally  construct- 
ed reproduced  the  final  word  of  the  first  line  at  the  end 
of  the  fifth,  thus  : 

"There  was  an  old  person  of  Basing 
Whose  presence  of  mind  was  amazing  ; 

He  purchased  a  steed 

Which  he  rode  at  full  speed. 
And  escaped  from  the  people  of  Basing." 

But  in  the  process  of  development  it  became  unusual  to 
find  a  new  word  for  the  end  of  the  fifth  line,  thus  at 

283 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

once  securing  a  threefold  rhyme  and  introducing  the 
element  of  unexpectedness,  instead  of  inevitableness, 
into  the  conclusion.  Thus  The  Light  Green  sang  of  the 
Colleges  in  which  it  circulated  : 

"There  was  an  old  Fellow  of  Trinity, 
A  Doctor  well  versed  in  divinity  ; 

But  be  took  to  free-tliinkiDg, 

And  then  to  deep  drinking, 
And  so  had  to  leave  the  vicinity." 


And— 


"There  was  a  young  genius  of  Queen's 
Who  was  fond  of  explosive  machines  ; 

He  blew  open  a  door, 

But  he'll  do  so  no  more  ; 
For  it  chanced  that  that  door  was  the  Dean's." 


And- 


"  There  was  a  young  gourmand  of  John's 
Who'd  a  notion  of  dining  off  swans  ; 

To  the  '  Backs '  he  took  big  nets 

To  capture  the  cygnets, 
But  was  told  they  were  kept  for  the  Dons." 

So  far  The  Light  Green. 

Not  at  all  dissimilar  in  feeling  to  these  ebullitions  of 
youthful  fancy  were  the  parodies  of  nursery  rhymes 
which  the  lamented  Corney  Grain  invented  for  one  of 
his  most  popular  entertainments,  and  used  to  accompany 
on  the  piano  in  his  own  inimitable  style.  I  well  re- 
member the  opening  verse  of  one,  in  which  an  incident 
in  the  social  career  of  a  Liberal  millionaire  was  under- 
stood to  be  immortalized  : 

"  Old  Mr.  Parvenu  gave  a  great  ball, 
And  of  all  his  smart  guests  he  knew  no  one  at  all ; 
Old  Mr.  Parvenu  went  up  to  bed, 
And  his  guests  said  good-night  to  the  butler  instead." 
284 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

Twenty  years  ago  we  were  in  the  crisis  of  the  great 
Jingo  fever,  and  Lord  Beaconsfield's  antics  in  the  East 
were  frightening  all  sober  citizens  out  of  their  senses. 
It  was  at  that  period  that  the  music-halls  rang  with  the 
"Great  MacDermott's "  Tyrtaean  strain  : 

"  We  don't  want  to  fight ;  but,  by  Jingo,  if  we  do. 
We've  got  the  ships,  we've  got  the  men,  we've  got  the  money  too," 

and  the  word  "Jingo"  took  its  place  in  the  language  as 
the  recognized  symbol  of  a  warlike  policy.  At  Easter, 
1878,  it  was  announced  that  the  Government  were  bring- 
ing black  troops  from  India  to  Malta  to  aid  our  English 
forces  in  whatever  enterprises  lay  before  them.  The  re- 
frain of  the  music-hall  was  instantly  adapted  with  great 
effect,  even  the  grave  Spectator  giving  currency  to  the 
parody  : 

"We  don't  want  to  fight ;  but,  by  Jingo,  if  we  do. 

We  won't  go  to  the  front  ourselves,  but  we'll  send  the  mild  Hindoo." 

Two  years  passed.  Lord  Beaconsfield  was  deposed. 
The  tide  of  popular  feeling  turned  in  favor  of  Liberal- 
ism, and  "  Jingo "  became  a  term  of  reproach.  Mr. 
Tennyson,  as  he  then  was,  endeavored  to  revive  the  pa- 
triotic spirit  of  his  countrymen  by  publishing  "Hands  All 
Round  " — a  poem  which  had  the  distinguished  honor  of 
being  quoted  in  the  House  of  Commons  by  Sir  Ellis  Ash- 
mead-Bartlett.  Forthwith  an  irreverent  parodist — some 
say  Mr.  Andrew  Lang — appeared  with  the  following  coun- 
terblast : 

DRINKS  ALL  ROUND. 

(Being  an  attempt  to  arrange  Mr.  Tennyson's  noble  words  for  truly 
patriotic.  Protectionist,  and  Auti-aboriginal  circles.) 

"A  health  to  Jingo  first,  and  then 
A  health  to  shell,  a  health  to  shot ! 
The  man  who  hates  not  other  men 
I  deem  no  perfect  patriot. 

285 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

To  all  who  bold  all  England  mad 
We  drink  ;    to  all  who'd  tax  her  food  ! 

We  pledge  the  man  who  hates  the  Rad. ! 
We  drink  to  Bartle  Frere  and  Froude  I 

"Drinks  all  round  ! 
Here's  to  Jingo,  king  and  crowned  ! 

To  the  great  cause  of  Jingo  drink,  my  boys, 
And  the  great  name  of  Jingo,  round  and  round  I 

"  To  all  the  companies  that  long 

To  rob,  as  folk  robbed  years  ago  ; 
To  all  that  wield  the  double  thong. 

From  Queensland  round  to  Borneo  I 
To  all  that,  under  Indian  skies. 

Call  Aryan  man  a  'blasted  nigger'; 
To  all  rapacious  enterprise  ; 

To  rigor  everywhere,  and  vigor  1 

"  Drinks  all  round  ! 
Here's  to  Jingo,  king  and  crowned  ! 

To  the  great  name  of  Jingo  drink,  my  boys, 
And  every  filibuster,  round  and  round  1 

"  To  all  our  Statesmen,  while  they  see 

An  outlet  new  for  British  trade, 
Where  British  fabrics  still  may  be 

With  British  size  all  overweighed  ! 
Wherever  gin  and  guns  are  sold 

We've  scooped  the  artless  nigger  in; 
Where  men  give  ivory  and  gold, 

We  give  them  measles,  tracts,  and  gin  I 

"  Drinks  all  round  ! 
Here's  to  Jingo,  king  and  crowned  I 

To  the  great  name  of  Jingo  drink,  my  boys, 
And  to  Adulteration,  round  and  round  I" 

The  Jingo  fever  having  abated,  another  malady  ap- 
peared in  the  body  politic.  Trouble  broke  out  in  Ireland, 
and  in  January,  1881,  Parliament  was  summoned  to  pass 
Mr.  Forster's  Coercion  Act.  My  diary  for  that  date  sup- 
plies me  with  the  following  excellent  imitation  of  a  vet- 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

eran  Poet  of  Freedom  rushing  with  ardent  sympathy  into 
the  Irish  struggle  against  Gladstonian  tyranny  : 

A   L'IRLANDE. 
Par  Victor  Hugo. 

O  Irlande,  grand  pays  du  shillelagh  et  du  bog, 

Oii  les  patriotes  vont  toujours  ce  qu'oa  appelle  le  whole  hog, 

Aujourd'liui  je  prends  la  plume,  moi  qui  est  vieux. 

Pour  dire  au  grand  patriot  Parnell,  '  How  d'ye  do  ?' 

Erin,  aux  armes  !  le  whisky  vous  donne  la  force 

De  se  battre  I'un  pour  I'autre  comme  les  fameux  Frfires  Corses. 

Voire  Land  League  et  vos  Home  Rulers  sont  des  liberateurs. 

Payez  la  valuation  de  Griflath  et  n'ayez  pas  peur. 

De  la  tenure  la  flxite  c'est  I'astre  de  vos  rSves, 

Que  Rory  des  Collines  vit  et  que  les  landgrabbers  crfivent ; 

Moi,  je  suis  vieux,  mais  dans  I'ombre  je  vois  clair, 

Bientot  serez-vous  maitres  de  vos  bonnes  pommes  de  terre. 

C'est  le  brave  Biggar,  le  T.  P.  O'Connor,  et  les  autres 

Qui  sont  vos  sauveurs,  comme  Gambetta  etait  le  n6tre  ; 

Suivez-les,  et  la  victoire  sera  toujours  si  vous, 

Si  S,  Milbank  ce  cher  Porster  ne  vous  envoie  pas.     Hooroo  I" 

By  the  time  that  these  lines  were  written  the  late  Mr. 
J.  K.  Stephen — affectionately  known  by  his  friends  as 
"Jem  Stephen" — was  beginning  to  be  recognized  as  an 
extraordinarily  good  writer  of  humorous  verse.  His  per- 
formances in  this  line  were  not  collected  till  ten  years 
later  ("Lapsus  Calami/'  1891),  and  his  brilliant  career 
was  cut  short  by  the  results  of  an  accident  in  1892.  I 
reproduce  the  following  sonnet,  not  only  because  I  think 
it  an  excellent  criticism  aptly  expressed,  but  because  I 
desire  to  pay  my  tribute  of  admiration  to  the  memory 
of  one  of  whom  all  men  spoke  golden  words  : 

"  Two  voices  are  there  :   one  is  of  the  deep ; 
It  learns  the  storm-cloud's  thunderous  melody, 
Now  roars,  now  murmurs  with  the  changing  sea, 
Now  bird-like  pipes,  now  closes  soft  in  sleep ; 

387 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

And  one  is  of  an  old,  half-witted  sheep 

Which  bleats  articulate  monotony, 

And  indicates  that  two  and  one  are  three. 

That  grass  is  green,  lakes  damp,  and  mountains  steep ; 

And,  Wordsworth,  both  are  thine.     At  certain  times 

Forth  from  the  heart  of  thy  melodious  rhymes 

The  form  and  pressure  of  high  thoughts  will  burst ; 

At  other  times —    Good  Lord  !  I'd  rather  be 

Quite  unacquainted  with  the  A,  B,  C 

Than  write  such  hopeless  rubbish  as  thy  worst." 

I  hope  that  there  are  few  among  my  readers  who  have 
not  in  their  time  known  and  loved  the  dear  old  ditty 
which  tells  us  how 

"  There  was  a  youth,  and  a  well-belovdd  youth, 
And  he  was  a  squire's  son. 
And  he  loved  the  Bailiff's  daughter  dear 
Who  dwelt  at  Islington." 

"Well,  to  all  who  have  followed  that  touching  story  of 
love  and  grief  I  commend  the  following  version  of  it. 
French,  after  all,  is  the  true  language  of  sentiment : 

"II  y  avait  un  gar^on. 
Fort  aimable  et  fort  bon. 

Qui  etait  le  fils  du  Lord  Mayor ; 
Et  il  aimait  la  fille 
D'un  sergent  de  ville 

Qui  demeurait  a  Leycesster  Sqvare. 

"Mais  elle  etait  un  peu  prude, 
Et  n'avait  pas  I'habitude 

De  coqueter,  comme  les  autres  demoiselles  ; 
Jusqu'a  ce  que  Lord  Mayor 
(Homme  brutal,  comme  tous  les  pfires) 
L'eloigna  de  sa  tourterelle. 

"Aprfis  quelques  ans  d'absence 
Au  rencontre  elle  s'elance  ; 

Elle  se  fait  une  toilette  de  trfis  bon  goflt — 
Des  pantoufles  sur  les  pieds, 
Des  lunettes  sur  le  nez, 

Et  un  collier  sur  le  cou — c'etait  tout  I 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

"  Mais  bientOt  elle  s'assit 
Dans  la  rue  Piccadilli, 

Car  il  faisait  extremement  chaud  ; 
Et  la  elle  vit  s'avancer 
L'unique  objet  de  ses  pensees, 

Sur  le  plus  magnifique  de  chevaux  I 

"  '  Je  suis  pauvre  et  sans  ressource  I 
Pr6te,  pr^te-moi  ta  bourse, 

Ou  ta  montre,  pour  me  montrer  confiance.* 
'  Jeune  femme,  je  ne  vous  connais, 
Ainsi  il  faut  me  donner 

Une  adresse  et  quelques  references.' 

"  'Men  adresse— c'est  Leycesster  Sqvare, 
Et  pour  reference  j'espfire 

Que  la  statue  de  Shakespeare  vous  sufflra.* 
'  Ah  !  connais-tu,  ma  mie, 
La  fille  du  sergent  ?'     '  Si  ; 

Mais  elle  est  morte  comme  un  rat  I' 

"  '  Si  defunte  est  ma  belle, 
Prenez,  s'il  vous  plait,  ma  selle, 

Et  ma  bride,  et  mon  cheval  incomparable  r 
Car  il  ne  faut  rien  dire, 
Mais  vite,  vite  m'ensevelir 
Dans  un  desert  sec  et  desagreable. ' 

"  'Ah!  mon  brave,  arrgte-toi. 
Je  suis  ton  unique  choix  ; 

La  fille  du  sergent  sans  peur  1 
Pour  mon  trousseau,  c'est  modeste, 
Vous  le  voyez  !  Pour  le  reste, 

Je  t'epouse  dans  une  demi-heure  I' 

"  Mais  le  jeune  homme  epouvante 
Sur  son  cheval  vite  remontait. 

La  liberte  lui  etait  trop  chfire  I 
Et  la  pauvre  fille  degofitee 
N'avait  qu'3.  reprendre  sa  route,  et 
Son  adresse  est  encore  Leycesster  Sqvare." 
289 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

The  chiefs  of  the  Permanent  Civil  Service  are  not 
nsnally,  as  Swift  said,  "  Blasted  with  poetic  fire/'  but 
this  delightful  ditty  is  from  the  pen  of  Mr.  Henry  Gra- 
ham, the  Clerk  of  the  Parliaments. 

Of  the  metrical  parodists  of  the  present  hour  two  are 
extremely  good.  Mr.  Owen  Seaman  is,  beyond  and  be- 
fore all  his  rivals,  "up  to  date,"  and  pokes  his  lyrical 
fun  at  such  songsters  as  Mr.  Alfred  Austin,  Mr.  William 
Watson,  Mr.  Eudyard  Kipling,  and  Mr.  Ki chard  Le  Gal- 
lieuue.  But  " Q"  is  content  to  try  his  hand  on  poets  of 
more  ancient  standing  ;  and  he  is  not  only  of  the  school 
but  of  the  lineage  of  "  C.  S.  C."  I  have  said  before  that 
I  forbear  as  a  rule  to  quote  from  books  as  easily  accessi- 
ble as  Gi'een  Bays  ;  but  is  there  a  branch  of  the  famous 
"  Omar  Khayydm  Club"  in  Manchester  ?  If  there  be,  to 
it  I  dedicate  the  last  handful  of  precious  stuff  which  I 
have  gathered  on  this  long  voyage,  only  apologizing  to 
the  uninitiated  reader  for  the  pregnant  allnsiveness, 
which  none  but  a  sworn  Khayyamite  can  perfectly  ap- 
prehend : 

"MEASURE  FOR  MEASURE. 

"  Wake  !  for  the  closed  Pavilion  doors  have  kept 
Their  silence  while  the  white-eyed  Kaffir  slept, 

And  wailed  the  Nightingale  with  'Jug,  jug,  jug  I' 
Whereat,  for  empty  cup,  the  White  Rose  wept. 

"  Enter  with  me  where  yonder  door  hangs  out 
Its  Red  Triangle  to  a  world  of  drought. 

Inviting  to  the  Palace  of  the  Djinn, 
Where  death,  Aladdin,  waits  as  Chuckeroflt. 

"  Methought,  last  night,  that  one  in  suit  of  woe 

Stood  by  the  Tavern-door  and  whispered,  '  Lo ! 

The  Pledge  departed,  what  avails  the  Cup  ? 

Then  take  the  Pledge  and  let  the  Wine-cup  go.' 

290 


PARODIES    IN    VERSE 

'  But  I  :  '  For  every  thirsty  soul  tbat  drains 
This  Anodyne  of  Thought  its  rim  contains — 

Freewill  the  can,  Necessity  the  must; 
Pour  off  the  imist,  and,  see,  the  can  remains. 

'Then,  pot  or  glass,  why  label  it  "With  care"  1 
Or  why  your  Sheepskin  with  my  Gourd  compare? 

Lo  !  here  the  Bar  and  I  the  only  Judge : 
O,  Dog  that  bit  me,  I  exact  a  hair  1' " 


XXX 

VEKBAL  INFELICITIES 

Se  non  e  vero,  said  a  very  great  Lord  Mayor  within  the 
last  few  weeks,  e  hen  traviata.  His  lordship's  lingaistic 
slip  served  him  right.  Latin  is  fair  play,  though  some 
of  us  are  in  the  condition  of  the  auctioneer  in  The  Mill 
on  the  Floss  who  had  brought  away  with  him  from  Mud- 
port  Grammar  School  "  a  sense  of  understanding  Latin 
generally,  though  his  comprehension  of  any  particular 
Latin  was  not  ready."  But  to  quote  from  any  other  lan- 
guage is  to  commit  an  outrage  on  your  guests.  The  late 
Sir  Robert  Fowler  was,  I  believe,  the  only  Lord  Mayor 
who  ever  ventured  to  quote  Greek,  but  I  have  heard  him 
do  it,  and  have  seen  the  turtle-fed  company  smile  with 
alien  lips  in  the  painful  attempt  to  look  as  if  they  under- 
stood it,  and  in  abject  terror  lest  their  neighbor  should 
ask  them  to  translate.  The  late  Mr.  James  Payn  used 
to  tell  a  pleasing  tale  of  a  learned  clergyman  who  quoted 
Greek  at  dinner.  The  lady  who  was  sitting  by  Mr. 
Payn  inquired  in  a  whisper  what  one  of  these  quotations 
meant.  He  gave  her  to  understand,  with  a  well-assumed 
^  blush,  that  it  was  scarcely  fit  for  a  lady's  ear.  "  Good 
heavens!"  she  exclaimed;  ''you  don't  mean  to  say — " 
'' Please  don't  ask  any  more,"  said  Payn,  pleadingly,  "  I 
really  could  not  tell  you."  Which  was  true  to  the  ear, 
if  not  to  the  sense. 

Municipal  eloquence  has  been  time  out  of  mind  a 
storehouse  of  delight.     It  was,  according  to  tradition,  a 

292 


VERBAL    INFELICITIES 

provincial  mayor  who,  blessed  with  a  numerous  progeny, 
publicly  expressed  the  pious  hope  that  his  sons  might 
grow  up  to  be  better  citizens  than  their  father,  and  his 
daughters  more  virtuous  women  than  their  mother. 
There  was  a  worthy  alderman  at  Oxford  in  my  time  who 
was  entertained  at  a  public  dinner  on  his  retirement 
from  civic  office.  In  replying  to  the  toast  of  his  health, 
he  said  it  had  always  been  his  anxious  endeavor  to  ad- 
^minister  justice  without  swerving  to  "partiality  on  the 
one  hand  or  impartiality  on  the  other."  Surely  he  must 
have  been  near  kin  to  the  moralist  who  always  tried  to 
tread  "the  narrow  path  which  lay  between  right  and 
wrong";  or,  perchance,  to  the  newly  elected  mayor  who, 
in  returning  thanks  for  his  elevation,  said  that  during 
his  year  of  office  he  should  lay  aside  all  his  political  pre- 
possessions and  be,  "like  Csesar's  wife,  all  things  to  all 
men."  It  was  said  of  my  old  friend  the  late  Dean 
Burgon  that  once,  in  a  sermon  on  the  transcendent 
merits  of  the  Anglican  School  of  Theology,  he  ex- 
claimed, with  a  fervor  which  was  all  his  own,  "May  I 
live  the  life  of  a  Taylor,  and  die  the  death  of  a  Bull  I" 

The  admirable  Mr.  Brooke,  when  he  purposed  to  con- 
test the  Borough  of  Middlemarch,  found  Will  Ladislaw 
extremely  useful,  because  he  "remembered  what  the 
right  quotations  are — Omne  tulit  punctum,  and  that  sort 
of  thing."  And  certainly  an  apt  quotation  is  one  of  the 
most  effective  decorations  of  a  public  speech ;  but  the 
dangers  of  inappositeness  are  correspondingly  formi- 
dable. I  have  always  heard  that  the  most  infelicitous 
quotation  on  record  was  made  by  the  fourth  Lord  Fitz- 
william  at  a  county  meeting  held  at  York  to  raise  a  fund 
for  the  repair  of  the  Minster  after  the  fire  which  so 
nearly  destroyed  it  in  1829.  Previous  speakers  had, 
naturally,  appealed  to  the  pious  munificence  of  Church- 
men.     Lord  Fitzwilliam,  as  the  leading  Whig  of  the 

293 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

connty,  thought  that  it  would  be  an  excellent  move  to 
enlist  the  sympathies  of  the  rich  Nonconformists,  and 
that  he  was  the  man  to  do  it.  So  he  perorated  some- 
what after  the  following  fashion  :  "  And  if  the  liberality 
of  Yorkshire  Churchmen  proves  insufficient  to  restore 
the  chief  glory  of  our  native  county,  then,  with  all  con- 
fidence, I  turn  to  our  excellent  Dissenting  brethren, 
and  I  exclaim,  with  the  Latin  poet, 

"Flectere  si  nequeo  superos,  Acheronta  movebo." 

Mr.  Anstey  Guthrie  has  some  pleasant  instances  of 
texts  misapplied.  He  was  staying  once  in  a  Scotch 
country-house  where,  over  his  bed,  hung  an  illuminated 
scroll  with  the  inscription,  "Occupy  tilll come,"  which, 
as  Mr.  Guthrie  Justly  observes,  is  an  unusually  extended 
invitation,  even  for  Scottish  notions  of  hospitality.  Ac- 
cording to  the  same  authority,  the  leading  citizen  of  a 
seaside  town  erected  some  iron  benches  on  the  sea  front, 
and,  with  the  view  of  at  once  commemorating  his  own 
munificence  and  giving  a  profitable  turn  to  the  thoughts 
of  the  sitters,  inscribed  on  the  backs — 

THESE    SEATS 

WERE  PRESENTED  TO  THE   TOWN  OP  SHINGLETON 

BY 

JOSEPH  BUGGINS.  Esq., 

J.  p.  FOR  THE  BOROUGH. 
"the  8EA  18  HIS  AND  HE  MADE  IT." 

Nothing  is  more  deeply  rooted  in  the  mind  of  the 
average  man  than  that  certain  well-known  aphorisms  of 
piety  are  to  be  found  in  the  Bible — possibly  in  that  lost 
book,  the  Second  Epistle  to  the  Ephesians,  which 
Dickens  must  have  had  in  his  mind  when  he  wrote  in 
Dombey  and  Son  of  the  First  Epistle  to  that  Church. 
"In  the  midst  of  life  we  are   in  death"  is  a  favorite 

294 


/ 


VERBAL    INFELICITIES 

quotation  from  this  imaginary  Scripture.  "  His  end 
was  peace  "  holds  its  place  on  many  a  tomb  in  virtue  of 
a  similar  belief.  "  He  tempers  the  wind  to  the  shorn 
lamb "  is,  I  believe  commonly  attributed  to  Solomon  ; 
and  a  charming  song  which  was  popular  in  my  youth 
declared  that,  though  the  loss  of  friends  was  sad,  it 
would  have  been  much  sadder 

' '  Had  we  ne'er  heard  that  Scripture  word, 
'Not  lost,  but  gone  before.'" 

Mrs.  Gamp,  with  some  hazy  recollections  of  the  New 
Testament  floating  in  her  mind,  invented  the  admirable 
aphorism  that  ''Rich  folks  may  ride  on  camels,  but  it 
ain't  so  easy  for  'em  to  see  out  of  a  needle's  eye."  And 
a  lady  of  my  acquaintance,  soliloquizing  on  the  afflic- 
tions of  life  and  the  serenity  of  her  own  temper,  ex- 
claimed, "How  true  it  is  what  Solomon  says,  'A  con- 
tented spirit  is  like  a  perpetual  dropping  on  a  rainy 
day  !' " 

A  Dissenting  minister,  winding  up  a  week's  mission, 
is  reported  to  have  said,  "And  if  any  spark  of  grace  has 

/  been  kindled  by  these  exercises,  oh,  we  pray  thee,  water 
that  spark."  An  old  peasant-woman  in  Buckingham- 
shire, extolling  the  merits  of  her  favorite  curate,  said 

y  to  the  rector,  "  I  do  say  that  Mr.  Woods  is  quite  an 
angel  in  sheep's  clothing  ;"  and  Dr.  Liddon  told  me  of 
a  Presbyterian  minister  who  was  called  on  at  short 
notice  to  officiate  at  the  parish-church  of  Crathie  in  the 
presence  of  the  Queen,  and,  transported  by  this  tremen- 
dous experience,  burst  forth  in  rhetorical  supplication  : 
"  Grant  that  as  she  grows  to  be  an  old  woman  she  may 

/  be  made  a  new  man  ;  and  that  in  all  righteous  causes 
she  may  go  forth  before  her  people  like  a  he-goat  on  the 
mountains." 
Undergraduates,  whose  wretched  existence  for  a  week 
295 


/ 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

before  each  examination  is  spent  in  the  hasty  acquisition 
of  much  ill-assorted  and  indigestible  knowledge,  are  not 
seldom  the  victims  of  similar  confusions.  At  Oxford — 
and,  for  all  I  know,  at  Cambridge  too — a  hideous  custom 
prevails  of  placing  before  the  examinee  a  list  of  isolated 
texts,  and  requiring  him  to  supply  the  name  of  the 
speaker,  the  occasion,  and  the  context. 

Qiiestion.  " '  My  punishment  is  greater  than  I  can 
bear.'     Who  said  this  ?     Under  what  circumstances  ?" 

Answer.  "Agag,  when  he  was  hewn  in  pieces." 

One  wonders  at  what  stage  of  the  process  he  began  to 
think  it  was  going  a  little  too  far.  "  What  is  faith  ?" 
inquired  an  examiner  in  ''  Pass-Divinity."  "  Faith  is  the 
faculty  by  which  we  are  enabled  to  believe  that  which 
we  know  is  not  true,"  replied  the  undergraduate,  who 
had  learned  his  definition  by  heart,  but  imperfectly,  from 
a  popular  cram-book.  A  superficial  knowledge  of  liter- 
ture  may  sometimes  be  a  snare.  ''Can  you  give  me  any 
particulars  of  Oliver  Cromwell's  death  ?"  asked  an  Ex- 
aminer in  History  in  1874.  "  Oh  yes,  sir,"  eagerly  re- 
plied the  victim  ;  "  he  exclaimed,  '  Had  I  but  served  my 
God  as  I  have  served  my  King,  He  would  not  in  mine 
age  have  left  me  naked  to  mine  enemies.'" 

"  Things  one  would  rather  have  expressed  differently  " 
are,  I  believe,  a  discovery  of  Mr.  Punch's.  Of  course  he 
did  not  create  them.  They  must  be  as  old  as  human  nat- 
ure itself.  The  history  of  their  discovery  is  not  unlike 
that  of  another  epoch-making  achievement  of  the  same 
great  genius,  as  set  forth  in  the  preface  to  The  Book  of 
Snobs.  First,  the  world  was  made  ;  then,  as  a  matter  of 
course,  snobs  ;  they  existed  for  years  and  years,  and  were 
no  more  known  than  America.  But  presently — inge^is 
patehat  tellus  —  people  became  darkly  aware  that  there 
was  such  a  race.  Then  in  time  a  name  arose  to  designate 
that  race.    That  name  has  spread  over  England  like  rail- 

396 


VERBAL    INFELICITIES 

roads.  Snobs  are  known  and  recognized  throughout  an 
Empire  on  which  the  sun  never  sets.  Punch  appeared 
at  the  ripe  season  to  chronicle  their  history,  and  the  in- 
dividual came  forth  to  write  that  history  in  Punch. 

Mutatis  mutandis,  we  may  apply  this  historical  method 
to  the  origin  and  discovery  of  "  Things  one  would  rather 
have  expressed  differently."  They  must  have  existed  as 
long  as  language ;  they  must  have  flourished  wherever 
men  and  women  encountered  one  another  in  social  inter- 
course. But  the  glory  of  having  discovered  them,  rec- 
ognized them,  classified  them,  and  established  them 
among  the  permanent  sources  of  human  enjoyment  be- 
longs to  Mr.  Punch  alone. 

He  was  the  first  that  ever  burst 
Into  that  silent  sea. 

Let  us  humbly  follow  in  his  wake. 

We  shall  see  later  on  that  no  department  of  human 
speech  is  altogether  free  from  "Things  one  would  rather 
have  expressed  differently  ";  but,  naturally,  the  great  bulk 
of  them  belong  to  social  conversation  ;  and  just  as  the 
essential  quality  of  a  "  bull "  is  that  it  expresses  substan- 
tial  sense  in  the  guise  of  verbal  nonsense,  so  the  social 
"  Thing  one  would  rather  have  expressed  differently,"  to 
be  really  precious,  must  show  a  polite  intention  struggling 
with  verbal  infelicity.  Mr.  Corney  Grain,  narrating  his 
early  experiences  as  a  social  entertainer,  used  to  describe 

an  evening  party  given  by  the  Dowager  Duchess  of  S 

at  which  he  was  engaged  to  play  and  sing.     Late  in  the 

evening  the  young  Duke  of  S came  in,  and  Mr.  Grain 

heard  his  mother  prompting  him  in  an  anxious  under- 
tone :  *'  Pray  go  and  say  something  civil  to  Mr.  Grain. 
Yon  know  he's  quite  a  gentleman — not  a  common  profes- 
sional person."  Thus  instructed,  the  young  Duke  strolled 
up  to  the  piano  and  said  :  "  Good  evening,  Mr.  Grain. 

297 


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COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

I'm  sorry  I  am  so  late,  and  have  missed  yonr  performance. 

But  I  Avas  at  Lady 's.      We  had  a  dancing-dog  there." 

The  married  daughter  of  one  of  the  most  brilliant  men 
of  the  Queen's  reign  has  an  only  child.  An  amiable  ma- 
tron of  her  acquaintance,  anxious  to  be  thoroughly  kind, 

said,  "Oh,  Mrs.  W ,  I  hear  that  you  have  such  a 

clever  little  boy."  Mrs.  W.,  beaming  with  a  mother's 
pride,  replied,  "  Well,  yes,  I  think  Koger  is  rather  a 
sharp  little  fellow."  "  Yes,"  replied  her  friend.  "  How 
often  one  sees  that — the  talent  skipping  a  generation  !" 
A  stately  old  rector  in  Buckinghamshire — a  younger  son 
of  a  great  family — whom  I  knew  well  in  my  youth,  had, 
and  was  justly  proud  of,  a  remarkably  pretty  and  well- 
appointed  rectory.  To  him  an  acquaintance,  coming  for 
the  first  time  to  call,  genially  exclaimed  :  "  What  a  de- 
lightful rectory  !  Really  a  stranger  arriving  in  the  vil- 
lage, and  not  knowing  who  lived  here,  would  take  it  for 
a  gentleman's  house."  One  of  our  best-known  novelists, 
the  most  sensitively  courteous  of  men,  arriving  very  late 
at  a  dinner-party,  was  overcome  with  confusion — "  I  am 
truly  sorry  to  be  so  shockingly  late."  The  genial  host- 
ess, only  meaning  to  assure  him  that  he  was  not  the  last, 

emphatically  replied  :  ''Oh,  Mr. ,  you  can't  come  too 

late."  A  member  of  the  present  Cabinet  was  engaged 
with  his  wife  and  daughter  to  dine  at  a  friend's  house  in 
the  height  of  the  season.  The  daughter  fell  ill  at  the 
last  moment,  and  her  parents  first  telegraphed  her  ex- 
cuses for  dislocating  the  party,  and  then  repeating  them 
earnestly  on  arriving.  The  hostess,  receiving  them  with 
the  most  cordial  sympathy,  exclaimed  :  "  Oh,  it  doesn't 
matter  the  least  to  us,  we  are  only  so  sorry  for  your 
daughter."  An  eminent  authoress  who  lives  not  a  hun- 
dred miles  from  Eichmond  Hill  was  asked,  in  my  hear- 
ing, if  she  had  been  to  "write  her  name"  at  White  Lodge, 
in  Eichmond  Park  (where  the  late  Duchess  of  Teck  lived), 

298 


VERBAL    INFELICITIES 

on  the  occasion  of  an  important  event  in  the  Duchess's 
family.  She  replied  that  she  had  not,  because  she  did 
not  know  the  Duchess,  and  saw  no  use  in  adding  another 
stranger's  signature  to  the  enormous  list.  "  Oh,  that's 
a  pity,"  was  the  rejoinder ;  "  the  Royal  Family  think 
more  of  the  quantity  of  names  than  the  quality.'' 

In  all  these  cases  the  courtesy  of  the  intention  was 
manifest ;  but  sometimes  it  is  less  easy  to  discover.  Not 
long  ago  Sir  Henry  Irving  most  kindly  went  down  to 
one  of  our  great  Public  Schools  to  give  some  Shake- 
sperian  recitations.  Talking  over  the  arrangements  with 
the  Head  Master,  who  is  not  a  man  of  felicities  and  fa- 
cilities, he  said  :  "Each  piece  will  take  about  an  hour; 
and  there  must  be  fifteen  minutes'  interval  between  the 
two."  "Oh!  certainly,"  replied  the  Head  Master;  "yon 
couldn't  expect  the  boys  to  stand  two  hours  of  it  with- 
out a  break."  The  newly  appointed  rector  of  one  of  the 
chief  parishes  in  London  was  entertained  at  dinner  by  a 
prominent  member  of  the  congregation.  Conversation 
turned  on  the  use  of  stimulants  as  an  aid  to  intellectual 
and  physical  effort,  and  Mr.  Gladstone's  historic  egg-flip 
was  cited.  "  Well,  for  my  own  part,"  said  the  divine, 
"  I  am  quite  independent  of  that  kind  of  help.  The 
only  occasion  in  my  life  when  I  used  anything  of  the  sort 
was  when  I  was  in  for  my  tripos  at  Cambridge,  and  then, 
by  the  doctor's  order,  I  took  a  dose  of  strychnine,  in  or- 
der to  clear  the  brain."  The  hostess,  in  a  tone  of  the 
deepest  interest,  inquired,  "  How  soon  did  the  effect  pass 
off  ?"  and  the  rector,  a  man  of  academical  distinction, 
who  had  done  his  level  best  in  his  inaugural  sermons  on 
the  previous  Sunday,  didn't  half  like  the  question. 

Not  long  ago  I  was  dining  with  one  of  the  City  Com- 
panies. On  my  right  was  another  guest — a  member  of 
the  Worshipful  Company  of  Butchers.  We  had  a  long 
and  genial  conversation  on  the  state  of  trade  and  other 

299 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

topics  relevant  to  Smithfield,  when,  in  the  midst  of  it,  I 
was  suddenly  called  on  to  return  thanks  for  the  visitors. 
The  chairman,  in  proposing  the  toast,  was  good  enough 
to  speak  of  my  belongings  and  myself  in  far  too  flatter- 
ing terms,  to  which  I  hope  that  I  suitably  responded. 
When  I  resumed  my  seat  my  butcher-friend  exclaimed, 
with  the  most  obvious  sincerity:  "I  declare,  sir,  I'm 
quite  ashamed  of  myself.  To  think  that  I  have  been 
sitting  alongside  of  a  gentleman  all  the  evening,  and 
never  found  it  out !" 

The  doorkeepers  and  attendants  at  the  House  of  Com- 
mons are  all  old  servants,  who  generally  have  lived  in 
great  families,  and  have  obtained  their  places  through 
influential  recommendations.  One  of  these  fine  old  men 
encountered,  on  the  opening  day  of  a  new  Parliament,  a 
young  sprig  of  a  great  family  who  had  just  been  for  the 
first  time  elected  to  the  House  of  Commons,  and  thus 
accosted  him  with  tears  in  his  eyes  :  ''  I  am  glad  indeed, 
sir,  to  see  yon  here ;  and  when  I  think  that  I  helped  to 
put  your  noble  grandfather  and  grandmother  both  into 
their  coffins,  it  makes  me  feel  quite  at  home  with  you." 
Never,  surely,  was  a  political  career  more  impressively 
auspicated. 

These  Verbal  Infelicities  are  by  no  means  confined  to 
social  intercourse.  Lord  Cross,  when  the  House  laughed 
at  his  memorable  speech  in  favor  of  Spiritual  Peers, 
exclaimed  in  solemn  remonstrance,  "  I  hear  a  smile." 
When  the  Bishop  of  Southwell,  preaching  in  the  Lon- 
don Mission  of  1885,  began  his  sermon  by  saying,  "  I  feel 
a  feeling  which  I  feel  you  all  feel,"  it  is  only  fair  to  as- 
sume that  he  said  something  which  he  would  rather  have 
expressed  differently.  Quite  lately  I  heard  a  Radical 
rhetorician  exclaim,  "  If  the  Liberal  party  is  to  main- 
tain its  position,  it  must  move  forward."  A  clerically 
minded  orator,  fresh  from  a  signal  triumph  at  a  Dioce- 

300 


VERBAL    INFELICITIES 

san  Conference,  informed  me,  together  with  some  hun- 
dreds of  other  hearers,  that  when  his  Resolution  was  put 
"  quite  a  shower  of  hands  went  up  ";  and  at  a  mission- 
ary meeting  I  once  heard  that  impressive  personage, 
"  the  Deputation  from  the  parent  society,"  involve  him- 
self very  delightfully  in  extemporaneous  imagery.  He 
had  been  explaining  that  here  in  England  we  hear  so 
much  of  the  rival  systems  and  operations  of  the  Society 
for  the  Propagation  of  the  Gospel  and  the  Church  Mis- 
sionary Society  that  we  are  often  led  to  regard  them  as 
hostile  institutions  ;  whereas  if,  as  he  himself  had  done, 
his  hearers  would  go  out  to  the  mission  field  and  observe 
the  working  of  the  societies  at  close  quarters,  they  would 
find  them  to  be  in  essential  unison.  "  Even  so,"  he  ex- 
claimed ;  "as  I  walked  in  the  beautiful  park  which  ad- 
joins your  town  to-day,  I  noticed  what  appeared  at  a 
distance  to  be  one  gigantic  tree.  It  was  only  when  I 
got  close  to  it  and  sat  down  under  its  branches  that  I 
perceived  that  what  I  had  thought  was  one  tree  was  real- 
ly two  trees — as  completely  distinct  in  origin,  growth, 
and  nature  as  if  they  had  stood  a  hundred  miles  apart." 
No  one  in  the  audience  (besides  myself)  noticed  the  in- 
felicity of  the  illustration  ;  nor  do  I  think  that  the  wor- 
thy "Deputation,"  if  he  had  perceived  it,  would  have  had 
the  presence  of  mind  to  act  as  a  famous  preacher  did  in 
like  circumstances,  and,  throwing  up  his  hands,  exclaim, 
"  Oh,  blessed  contrast  !" 

But  it  does  not  always  require  verbal  infelicity  to  pro- 
duce a  "  Thing  one  would  rather  have  expressed  differ- 
ently." The  mere  misplacement  of  a  comma  will  do  it. 
A  highly  distinguished  graduate  of  Oxford  determined 
to  enter  the  Nonconformist  ministry,  and,  quite  unneces- 
sarily, published  a  manifesto  setting  forth  his  reasons  and 
his  intentions.  In  his  enumeration  of  the  various  meth- 
ods by  which  he  was  going  to  mark  his  aloofness  from 

301 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

the  sacerdotalism  of  the  Established  Church,  he  wrote  : 
— "  I  shall  wear  no  clothes,  to  distinguish  me  from  my 
fellow-Christians."  Need  I  say  that  all  the  picture-shops 
of  the  University  promptly  displayed  a  fancy  portrait  of 
the  newly  fledged  minister  clad  in  what  Artemus  Ward 
called  "  the  scandalous  style  of  the  Greek  slave,"  and 
bearing  the  unkind  inscription:  "The  Kev.  X,  Y.  Z. 
distinguishing  himself  from  his  fellow-Christians"? 

An  imperfect  sympathy  with  the  prepossessions  of 
one's  environment  may  often  lead  the  unwary  talker  to 
give  a  totally  erroneous  impression  of  his  meaning. 
Thus  the  Professor  of  Sanskrit  at  Oxford  once  brought 
an  Indian  army  -  chaplain  to  dine  at  the  high  table  of 
Oriel,  and  in  the  common-room  after  dinner  the  Fellows 
courteously  turned  the  conversation  to  the  subject  of 
life  and  work  in  India,  on  which  the  chaplain  held  forth 
with  fluency  and  zest.  When  he  had  made  an  end  of 
speaking,  the  Professor  of  Anglo  -  Saxon,  who  was  not 
only  a  very  learned  scholar,  but  also  a  very  devout  clergy- 
man, leaned  forward  and  said,  "  I  am  a  little  hard  of 
hearing,  sir,  but  from  what  I  could  gather  I  rejoice  to 
infer  that  you  consider  the  position  of  an  army-chaplain 
in  India  a  hopeful  field."  "Hopeful  field  indeed,"  re- 
plied the  chaplain ;  "  I  should  rather  think  so  !  You 
begin  at  £400  a  year  !" 

A  too  transparent  honesty  which  reveals  each  transient 
emotion  through  the  medium  of  suddenly  chosen  words 
is  not  without  its  perils.  None  that  heard  it  can  ever 
forget  Norman  Macleod's  story  of  the  Presbyterian  min- 
ister who,  when  he  noticed  champagne  -  glasses  on  the 
dinner  -  table,  began  his  grace,  "  Bountiful  Jehovah  !" 
but,  when  he  saw  only  claret-glasses,  subsided  into,  "We 
are  not  worthy  of  the  least  of  Thy  mercies."  I  deny  the 
right  of  Bishop  Wilberforce  in  narrating  this  story  in  his 
diary  to  stigmatize  this  good  man  as  "gluttonous."     He 

302 


VERBAL    INFELICITIES 

was  simply  honest,  and  his  honesty  led  him  into  one  of 
those  "  Things  one  would  rather  have  expressed  differ- 
ently." But,  however  expressed,  the  meaning  would 
have  been  the  same,  and  equally  sound. 

Absence  of  mind,  of  course,  conversationally  slays  its 
thousands,  though  perhaps  more  by  the  way  of  "  Things 
one  would  rather  have  left  unsaid  "  than  by  "  Things  one 
would  rather  have  expressed  differently."  The  late  Arch- 
bishop Trench,  a  man  of  singularly  vague  and  dreamy 
habits,  resigned  the  See  of  Dublin  on  account  of  advanc- 
ing years,  and  settled  in  London.  He  once  went  back  to 
pay  a  visit  to  his  successor.  Lord  Plunket.  Finding 
himself  back  again  in  his  old  palace,  sitting  at  his  old 
dinner -table,  and  gazing  across  it  at  his  old  wife,  he 
lapsed  in  memory  to  the  days  when  he  was  master  of  the 
house,  and  gently  remarked  to  Mrs.  Trench,  "  I  am 
afraid,  my  dear,  that  we  must  put  this  cook  down  among 
our  failures."     Delight  of  Lord  and  Lady  Plunket ! 

Medical  men  are  sometimes  led  by  carelessness  of 
phrase  into  giving  their  patients  shocks.  The  country 
doctor  who,  combining  in  his  morning's  round  a  visit  to 
the  Squire  and  another  to  the  Vicar,  said  that  he  was  try- 
ing to  kill  two  birds  with  one  stone,  would  probably  have 
expressed  himself  differently  if  he  had  premeditated  his 
remark  ;  and  a  London  physician  who  found  his  patient 
busy  composing  a  book  of  Kecollections,  and  asked, 
"  Why  have  you  put  it  off  so  long  ?"  uttered  a  ''  Thing 
one  would  rather  have  left  unsaid."  The  "  donniest"  of 
Oxford  dons  in  an  unexampled  fit  of  good  nature  once 
undertook  to  discharge  the  duties  of  the  chaplain  of  Ox- 
ford jail  during  the  Long  Vacation.  Unluckily  it  so 
fell  out  that  he  had  to  perform  the  terrible  office  of  pre- 
paring a  condemned  felon  for  execution,  and  it  was  felt 
that  he  said  a  "  Thing  one  would  rather  have  expressed 
differently,"  when,  at  the  close  of  his  final  interview,  he 

303 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

left  the  condemned  cell  observing,  "Well,  at  eight 
o'clock  to-morrow  morning,  then." 

The  path  of  those  who  inhabit  Courts  is  thickly  beset 
with  pitfalls-  There  are  so  many  things  that  must  be 
left  unsaid,  and  so  many  more  that  must  be  expressed 
differently.  Who  does  not  know  the  "  Copper  Horse  " 
at  Windsor — that  equestrian  statue  at  the  end  of  the 
Long  AValk,  to  which  (and  back  again)  the  local  flyman 
always  offers  to  drive  the  tourist  ?  The  Queen  was  en- 
tertaining a  great  man,  who,  in  the  afternoon,  walked 
from  the  Castle  to  Cumberland  Lodge.  At  dinner  Her 
Majesty,  full,  as  always,  of  gracious  solicitude  for  the 
comfort  of  her  guests,  said,  "  I  hope  you  were  not  tired 
by  your  long  walk?"  "Oh,  not  at  all,  thank  you, 
ma'am.  I  got  a  lift  back  as  far  as  the  Copper  Horse." 
"  As  far  as  what  ?"  inquired  Her  Majesty,  in  palpable 
astonishment.  "  Oh,  the  Copper  Horse,  at  the  end  of 
the  Long  Walk  !"  "  That's  not  a  copper  horse.  That's 
my  grandfather  !" 

A  little  learning  is  proverbially  dangerous,  and  often 
lures  vague  people  into  unsuspected  perils.  One  of  the 
most  charming  ladies  of  my  acquaintance,  remonstrating 
with  her  mother  for  letting  the  fire  go  out  on  a  rather 
chilly  day,  exclaimed  :  "  Oh  !  dear  mamma,  how  could 
you  be  so  careless  ?  If  you  had  been  a  Vestal  Virgin 
you  would  have  been  bricked  up."  When  the  London 
County  Council  first  came  into  existence,  it  used  to  as- 
semble in  the  Guildhall,  and  the  following  dialogue  took 
place  between  a  highly  cultured  councillor  and  one  of  his 
commercial  colleagues  : 

Culhired  Councillor :  "  The  acoustics  of  this  place  seem 
very  bad." 

Commercial  Councillor  (sniffing) :  "  Indeed,  sir  ?  I 
haven't  perceived  anything  unpleasant." 

A  well-known  lady  had  lived  for  some  years  in  a  house 
304 


>/ 


VERBAL    INFELICITIES 

in  Harley  Street  which  contained  some  fine  ornamenta- 
tion by  Angelica  Kauffman,  and,  on  moving  to  another 
quarter  of  the  town,  she  loudly  lamented  the  loss  of  her 
former  drawing-room,  "for  it  was  so  beautifully  painted 
by  Fra  Angelico." 

Mistakes  of  idiom  are  naturally  the  prolific  parents  of 
error,  or,  as  Mrs.  Lirriper  said,  with  an  admirable  confu- 
sion of  metaphors,  breed  fruitful  hot  water  for  all  parties 
concerned.  "  The  wines  of  this  hotel  leave  one  nothing 
to  hope  for,"  was  the  alluring  advertisement  of  a  Swiss 
innkeeper  who  thought  that  his  vintage  left  nothing  to 
be  desired.  Lady  Dnfferin,  in  her  Eeminiscences  of 
Viceregal  Life,  has  some  excellent  instances  of  the  same 
sort.  "Your  Enormity"  is  a  delightful  variant  on 
"  Your  Excellency,"  and  there  is  something  really  pa- 
thetic in  the  Baboo's  benediction,  "Yon  have  been  very 
•^good  to  us,  and  may  Almighty  God  give  you  tit  for  tat." 
But  to  deride  these  errors  of  idiom  scarcely  lies  in  the 
mouth  of  an  Englishman.  A  friend  of  mine,  wishing  to 
express  his  opinion  that  a  Frenchman  was  an  idiot,  told 

him  that  he  was  a  "  cretonne."     Lord  R ,  preaching 

at  the  French  Exhibition,  implored  his  hearers  to  come 
and  drink  of  the  "  eau  de  vie " ;  and  a  good-natured 
Cockney,  complaining  of  the  incivility  of  French  drivers, 
said  :  "  It  is  so  uncalled  for,  because  I  always  try  to  make 
things  pleasant  by  beginning  with  'Bonjour,  Cochon.'" 
Even  in  our  own  tongue  Englishmen  sometimes  come  to 
grief  over  an  idiomatic  proverb.  In  a  debate  in  Convo- 
cation at  Oxford,  Dr.  Liddon,  referring  to  a  concession 
made  by  the  opposite  side,  said,  "It  is  proverbially  un- 
gracious to  look  a  gift  horse  in  the  face."  And  though 
the  undergraduates  in  the  gallery  roared  "Mouth,  sir; 
mouth  !"  till  they  were  hoarse,  the  Angelic  Doctor  never 
perceived  the  unmeaningness  of  his  proverb. 

Some  years  ago  a  complaint  of  inefficiency  was  pre- 
u  305 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

ferred  against  a  workhouse  -  chaplain,  and,  when  the 
Board  of  Guardians  came  to  consider  the  case,  one  of  the 
Guardians,  defending  the  chaplain,  observed  that  "  Mr. 

P was  only  fifty-two,  and  had  a   mother   running 

about."  Commenting  on  this  line  of  defence,  a  newspa- 
per, which  took  the  view  hostile  to  the  chaplain,  causti- 
cally remarked  :  ''On  this  principle,  the  more  athletic 
or  restless  were  a  clergyman's  relatives,  the  more  valu- 
able an  acquisition  would  he  himself  be  to  the  Church. 
Supposing  that  some  Embertide  a  bishop  were  fortunate 
enough  to  secure  among  his  candidates  for  ordination  a 
a  man  who,  in  addition  to  '  a  mother  running  about,' 
had  a  brother  who  gained  prizes  at  Lillie  Bridge,  and  a 
cousin  who  pulled  in  the  'Varsity  Eight,  and  a  nephew 
who  was  in  the  School  Eleven,  to  say  nothing  of  a  grand- 
mother who  had  St.  Vitus's  dance,  and  an  aunt  in  the 
country  whose  mind  wandered,  then  surely  Dr.  Liddon 
himself  would  have  to  look  out  for  his  laurels." 

The  "  Things  one  would  rather  have  expressed  differ- 
ently "  for  which  reporters  are  responsible  are  of  course 
legion-.  I  forbear  to  quote  such  familiar  instances  as 
*'the  shattered  libertine  of  debate,"  applied  to  Mr.  Ber- 
nal  Osborne,  and  "  the  roaring  loom  of  the  Times,"  when 
Mr.  Lowell  had  spoken  of  the  "roaring  loom  of  time." 
I  content  myself  with  two  which  occurred  in  my  own  im- 
mediate circle.  A  clerical  uncle  of  mine  took  the  Blue 
Eibbon  in  his  old  age,  and  at  a  public  meeting  stated 
that  his  reason  for  so  doing  was  that  for  thirty  years  he 
had  been  trying  to  cure  drunkards  by  making  them  drink 
in  moderation,  but  had  never  once  succeeded.  He  was 
thus  reported  :  "  The  rev.  gentleman  stated  that  his 
reason  for  taking  the  Blue  Ribbon  was  that  for  thirty 
years  he  had  been  trying  to  drink  in  moderation,  but  had 
never  once  succeeded."  Another  near  relation  of  mine, 
protesting  on  a  public  platform  against  some  misrepresen- 

306 


VERBAL    INFELICITIES 

tation  by  opponents,  said  :  "  The  worst  enemy  that  any 
cause  can  have  to  fight  is  a  double  lie  in  the  shape  of  half 
a  truth."  The  newspaper  which  reported  the  proceed- 
ings gave  the  sentiment  thus  :  "  The  worst  enemy  that 
any  cause  can  have  to  fight  is  a  double  eye  in  the  shape 
of  half  a  tooth."  And,  when  an  indignant  remonstrance 
was  addressed  to  the  editor,  he  blandly  said  that  he  cer- 
tainly had  not  understood  the  phrase,  but  imagined  it 
must  be  a  quotation  from  an  old  writer. 

But,  if  journalistic  reporting  on  which  some  care  and 
thought  are  bestowed  sometimes  proves  so  misleading, 
common  rumor  is  far  more  prolific  of  things  which  would 
have  been  better  expressed  differently.  It  is  now  (thank 
goodness !)  a  good  many  years  since  "  spelling-bees " 
were  a  favorite  amusement  in  London  drawing-rooms. 
The  late  Lady  Combermere,  an  octogenarian  dame  who 
retained  a  sempiternal  taste  for  les  petit s  jeux  innocents, 
kindly  invited  a  young  curate  whom  she  had  been  asked 
to  befriend  to  take  part  in  a  "spelling-bee."  He  got  on 
splendidly  for  a  while  and  then  broke  down  among  the 
repeated  "n's"  in  '*^  drunkenness."  Returning  crest- 
fallen to  his  suburban  parish,  he  was  soon  gratified  by 
hearing  the  rumor  that  he  had  been  turned  out  of  a 
lady's  house  at  the  West  End  for  drunkenness. 

Shy  people  are  constantly  getting  into  conversational 
scrapes,  their  tongues  carrying  them  whither  they  know 
not ;  like  the  shy  young  man  who  was  arguing  with  a 
charming  and  intellectual  young  lady. 

Chai'ming  Young  Lady :  "  The  worst  of  me  is  that  I 
am  so  apt  to  be  run  away  with  by  an  inference." 

Shy  You7ig  Man :  *'  Oh,  how  I  wish  I  was  an  in- 
ference !" 

When  the  late  Dr.  Woodford  became  Bishop  of  Ely, 
a  rumor  went  before  him  in  the  diocese  that  he  was  a 
misogynist.     He  was  staying,  on  his  first  round  of  Con- 

307    - 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

firmations,  at  a  conntry  house,  attended  by  an  astonish- 
ingly mild  young  chaplain,  very  like  the  hero  of  The 
Private  Secretary.  In  the  evening  the  lady  of  the  house 
said,  archly,  to  this  youthful  Levite,  "  I  hope  you  can 
contradict  the  story  which  we  have  heard  about  our  new 
Ijishop,  that  he  hates  ladies."  The  chaplain,  in  much 
confusion,  hastily  replied,  **  Oh,  that  is  quite  an  exag- 
geration ;  but  I  do  think  his  lordship  feels  safer  with  the 
married  ladies." 

Let  me  conclude  with  a  personal  reminiscence  of  a 
"  Thing  one  would  rather  have  left  unsaid."  A  remark- 
ably pompous  clergyman  who  was  a  Diocesan  Inspector 
of  Schools  showed  me  a  theme  on  a  Scriptural  subject, 
written  by  a  girl  who  was  trying  to  pass  from  being  a 
pupil-teacher  to  a  school-mistress.  The  theme  was  full 
of  absurd  mistakes,  over  which  the  inspector  snorted 
stertorously.  "Well,  what  do  you  think  of  that?"  he 
inquired,  when  I  handed  back  the  paper.  "  Oh,"  said 
I,  in  perfectly  good  faith,  "the  mistakes  are  bad  enough, 
but  the  writing  is  far  worse.  It  really  is  a  disgrace." 
"  Oh,  my  writing  !"  said  the  inspector :  "  I  copied  the 
theme  out."  Even  after  the  lapse  of  twenty  years  I 
turn  hot  all  over  when  I  recall  the  sensations  of  that 
moment. 


XXXI 

THE  ART   OF   PUTTING   THINGS 

It  was  "A.  K.  H.  B.,"  if  I  recollect  aright,  who  wrote 
a  popular  essay  on  '*The  Art  of  Putting  Things."  As  I 
know  nothing  of  the  essay  beyond  its  title,  and  am  not 
quite  certain  about  that,  I  shall  not  be  guilty  of  inten- 
tional plagiarism  if  I  attempt  to  discuss  the  same  sub- 
ject. It  is  not  identical  with  the  theme  which  I  have  Just 
handled,  for  ''Things  one  would  rather  have  expressed 
differently  "  are  essentially  things  which  one  might  have 
expressed  better.  If  one  is  not  conscious  of  this  at  the 
moment,  Sheridan's  "damned  good-natured  friend"  is  al- 
ways at  hand  to  point  it  out,  and  the  poignancy  of  one's 
regret  creates  the  zest  of  the  situation.  For  example, 
when  a  German  financier,  contesting  an  English  borough, 
drove  over  an  old  woman  on  the  polling  day,  and  affec- 
tionately pressed  five  shillings  into  her  hand,  saying, 
/"Never  mind,  my  tear,  here's  something  to  get  drunk 
with,"  his  agent  instantly  pointed  out  that  she  wore  the 
Blue  Bibbon,  and  that  her  husband  was  an  influential 
class-leader  among  the  Wesleyans. 

But  "The  Art  of  Putting  Things"  includes  also  the 
things  which  one  might  have  expressed  worse,  and  covers 
the  cases  where  a  dexterous  choice  of  words  seems,  at  any 
rate  to  the  speaker,  to  have  extricated  him  from  a  con- 
versational quandary.  As  an  instance  of  this  perilous  art 
carried  to  high  perfection,  may  be  cited  Abraham  Lin- 
coln's judgment   on  an  unreadably  sentimental  book  : 

309 


/ 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

/  "  People  who  like  this  sort  of  thing  will  find  this  the  sort 
of  thing  they  like  " — humbly  imitated  by  two  eminent 
men  on  this  side  of  the  Atlantic,  one  of  whom  is  in  the 
habit  of  writing  to  straggling  authors  :  "Thank  you  for 
sending  me  your  book,  which  I  shall  lose  no  time  in  read- 
ing" ;  while  the  other  prefers  the  less  truthful  but  per- 
haps more  flattering  formula :  "  I  have  read  your  blank 
verse,  and  much  like  it." 

The  late  Mr.  Walter  Pater  was  once  invited  to  admire 
a  hideous  wedding-present,  compact  of  ormolu  and  mala- 
chite. Closing  his  eyes,  the  founder  of  modern  assthet- 
ics  leaned  back  in  his  chair,  and,  waving  away  the  offend- 
ing object,  murmured  in  his  softest  tone:  "Oh,  very 
rich,  very  handsome,  very  expensive,  I  am  sure.  But 
they  mustti't  make  any  more  of  them." 

Dexterities  of  phrase  sometimes  recoil  with  dire  effect 
upon  their  author.  A  very  popular  clergyman  of  my  ac- 
quaintance prides  himself  on  never  forgetting  an  inhabi- 
tant of  his  parish.  He  was  stopped  one  day  in  the  street 
by  an  aggrieved  parishioner  whom,  to  use  a  homely 
phrase,  he  did  not  know  from  Adam.  Eeady  in  resource, 
he  produced  his  pocket-book,  and,  hastily  jotting  down  a 
memorandum  of  the  parishioner's  grievance,  he  said, 
with  an  insinuating  smile,  "It  is  so  stupid  of  me,  but  I 
always  forget  how  you  spell  your  name."  "  J-O-N-E-S," 
was  the  gruff  response ;  and  the  shepherd  and  the  sheep 
went  their  several  ways  in  mutual  disgust.  Perhaps  the 
worst  recorded  attempt  at  an  escape  from  a  conversa- 
tional difficulty  was  made  by  an  East-end  curate  who 
specially  cultivated  the  friendship  of  the  artisans.  One 
day  a  carpenter  arrived  in  his  room  and,  producing  a 
photograph,  said,  "I've  brought  you  my  boy's  likeness, 
as  you  said  you'd  like  to  have  it." 

Curate  (rapturously):  "How  awfully  good  of  you  to 
remember !    What  a  capital  likeness !    How  is  he  ?" 

310 


y 


THE  ART  OF  PUTTING  THINGS 

Carpenter:  "Why,  sir,  don't  you  remember?  He's 
dead." 

Curate:  ''Oh  yes,  of  course,  I  know  that.  I  mean, 
/  ho2v's  the  man  who  took  the  photograph  ?'' 

The  art  of  disguising  an  unpleasant  truth  with  a  grace- 
ful phrase  was  well  illustrated  in  the  case  of  a  friend  of 
mine,  not  remarkable  for  physical  courage,  of  whom  a 
tactful  phrenologist  pronounced  that  he  was  "full  of 
precaution  against  real  or  imaginary  danger."  It  is  not 
every  one  who  can  tell  a  man  he  is  an  arrant  coward 
without  offending  him.  The  same  art,  as  applied  by  a 
man  to  his  own  shortcomings,  is  exemplified  in  the  story 
of  the  ecclesiastical  dignitary  who  gloried  in  his  Presence 
of  Mind.  According  to  Dean  Stanley,  who  knew  him 
well,  he  used  to  narrate  the  incident  in  the  following 
terms  : 

"A  friend  invited  me  to  go  out  with  him  on  the  water. 
The  sky  was  threatening,  and  I  declined.  At  length  he 
succeeded  in  persuading  me,  and  we  embarked.  A 
-  squall  came  on,  the  boat  lurched,  and  my  friend  fell 
overboard.  Twice  he  sank,  and  twice  he  rose  to  the 
surface.  He  placed  his  hands  on  the  prow  and  endeav- 
ored to  climb  in.  There  was  great  apprehension  lest 
he  should  upset  the  boat.  Providentially,  I  had  brought 
my  umbrella  with  me.  I  had  the  presence  of  mind  to 
'  strike  him  two  or  three  hard  blows  over  the  knuckles. 
He  let  go  his  hold,  and  sank.  The  boat  righted  itself, 
and  we  were  saved." 

The  art  of  avoiding  a  conversational  unpleasantness  by 
a  graceful  way  of  putting  things  belongs,  I  suppose,  in 
its  highest  perfection,  to  the  East.  "When  Lord  Dufferin 
was  Viceroy  of  India,  he  had  a  "  shikarry,"  or  sporting 
servant,  whose  special  duty  was  to  attend  the  visitors 
at  the  Viceregal  Court  on  their  shooting  excursions. 
Eeturning  one  day  from  one  of  these  expeditions  the 

311 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

sliikarry  encountered  the  Viceroy,  who,  full  of  courteous 
solicitude  for  his  guests'  enjoyment,  asked  :  ''  Well, 
what  sort  of  sport  has  Lord  had  ?"  "  Oh,"  re- 
plied the  scrupulously  polite  Indian,  "the  young  Sahib 
shot  divinely,  but  God  was  very  merciful  to  the  birds." 
Compare  this  honeyed  speech  with  the  terms  in  which 
an  English  gamekeeper  would  convey  his  oj^inion  of  a 
bad  shot,  and  we  are  forced  to  admit  the  social  su- 
periority of  Lord  Salisbury's  "black  man." 

But  if  we  turn  from  the  Orient  to  the  Occident,  and 
from  our  dependencies  to  the  United  Kingdom,  the  Art 
of  Putting  Things  is  found  to  flourish  better  on  Irish 
than  on  Scotch  or  English  soil,  "We  all  remember  that 
Archbishop  Whately  is  said  to  have  thanked  God  on  his 
death-bed  that  he  had  never  given  a  penny  in  indiscrim- 
inate charity.  Perhaps  one  might  find  more  suitable 
subjects  of  moribund  self  -  congratulation  ;  and  I  have 
always  rejoiced  in  the  mental  picture  of  the  Archbishop, 
in  all  the  frigid  pomp  of  Political  Economy,  waving  off 
the  Dublin  beggar  with  "  Go  away  ;  go  away.  I  never 
give  to  any  one  in  the  street,"  and  receiving  the  in- 
stantaneous rejoinder :  "  Then  where  would  your  rev- 
erence have  me  wait  on  you  ?"  A  lady  of  my  acquaint- 
ance, who  is  a  proprietress  in  county  Galway,  is  in  the 
habit  of  receiving  her  own  rents.  One  day,  when  a  ten- 
ant-farmer had  pleaded  long  and  unsuccessfully  for  an 
abatement,  he  exclaimed  as  he  handed  over  his  money : 
"  Well,  my  lady,  all  I  can  say  is  that  if  I  had  my  time 
.over  again  it's  not  a  tenant-farmer  I'd  be.  I'd  follow 
one  of  the  learn'd  professions."  The  proprietress  gently 
replied  that  even  in  the  learned  professions  there  were 
losses  as  well  as  gains,  and  perhaps  he  would  have  found 
professional  life  as  precarious  as  farming.  "  Ah,  my 
lady,  how  can  that  be  then  ?"  replied  the  son  of  St. 
Patrick.     "  If  you're  a  lawyer — win  or  lose,  you're  paid. 

312 


THE  ART  OF  PUTTING  THINGS 

If  you're  a  doctor — kill  or  cure,  you're  paid.  If  you're  a 
priest — heaven  or  hell,  you're  paid."  Who  can  imagine 
an  English  farmer  pleading  the  case  for  an  abatement 
with  this  happy  mixture  of  fun  and  satire  ? 

"Polite"  and  "urbane"  are  words  which   etymolog- 

/  ically  bear  witness  that  the  ancient  world,  alike  Greek 
and  Roman,  believed  that  the  arts  of  courtesy  were  the 
products  of  the  town  rather  than  of  the  country.  Some- 
thing of  the  same  distinction  may  occasionally  be  traced 
even  in  the  civilization  of  modern  England.  The  house- 
surgeon  of  a  London  hospital  was  attending  to  the  in- 
juries of  a  poor  woman  whose  arm  had  been  severely 
bitten.  As  he  was  dressing  the  wound  he  said  :  "  I  can- 
not make  out  what  sort  of  creature  bit  you.  This  is  too 
small  for  a  horse's  bite,  and  too  large  for  a  dog's."  "Oh, 
,  sir,"  replied  the  patient,  "it  wasn't  an  animal;  it  was 
another  lydy.'"  Surely  the  force  of  Politeness  or  Ur- 
banity could  no  further  go.  On  the  other  hand,  it  was 
a  country  clergyman  who,  in  view  of  the  approaching 
Confirmation,  announced  that  on  the  morning  of  the  cer- 

y  emony  the  young  ladies  would  assemble  at  the  Vicarage 
and  the  young  ivonien  at  the  National  School. 

"  Let  us  distinguish,"  said  the  philosopher,  and  cer- 
tainly the  arbitrary  use  of  the  term  " lady "  and  "gen- 
tleman "  suggests  some  curious  studies  in  the  Art  of 
Putting  Things.  A  good  woman  who  let  furnished  apart- 
ments in  a  country  town,  describing  a  lodger  who  had 
apparently  "  known  better  days,"  said,  "  I  am  positive 
she  was  a  real  born  lady,  for  she  hadn't  the  least  idea 

y  how  to  do  hanything  for  herself  ;  it  took  her  hours  to 
peel  her  potatoes."  Carlyle  has  illustrated  from  the  an- 
nals of  our  criminal  jurisprudence  the  truly  British  con- 
ception of  "  a  very  respectable  man  "  as  one  who  keeps  a 
'  gig  ;  and,  similarly,  I  recollect  that  in  the  famous  trial 
of  Kerr  and  Benson,  the  turf  -  swindlers,  twenty  years 

313 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

ago,  a  witness  testified,  with  reference  to  one  of  the 
prisoners,  that  he  had  always  considered  him  a  "  per- 
fect gentleman  "  ;  and,  being  pressed  by  counsel  to  give 
his  reasons  for  this  view,  said,  "  He  had  rooms  at  the 
Langham  Hotel,  and  dined  with  the  Lord  Mayor." 

On  the  other  hand,  it  would  seem  that  in  certain  circles 
and  contingencies  the  ''grand  old  name  of  Gentleman" 
is  regarded  as  a  term  of  opprobrium.  The  late  Lord 
Wriothesley  Russell,  who  was  for  many  years  a  Canon  of 
Windsor,  used  to  conduct  a  mission-service  for  the  House- 
hold troops  quartered  there ;  and  one  of  his  converts,  a 
stalwart  trooper  of  the  Blues,  expressing  his  gratitude 
for  these  voluntary  ministrations,  and  contrasting  them 
with  the  officer -like  and  disciplinary  methods  of  the 
army  -  chaplains,  genially  exclaimed,  "  But  I  always  say 
there's  not  a  bit  of  the  gentleman  about  you,  my  lord." 
When  Dr.  Harold  Browne  became  Bishop  of  Ely,  he 
asked  the  head  verger  some  questions  as  to  where  his  pred- 
ecessor had  been  accustomed  to  sit  in  the  Cathedral,  what 
part  he  had  taken  in  the  services,  and  so  on.  The  verger 
proved  quite  unable  to  supply  the  required  information, 
and  said  in  self-excuse,  "  Well,  you  see,  my  lord,  his  late 
lordship  wasn't  at  all  a  church-going  gentleman";  which 
being  interpreted  meant  that,  on  account  of  age  and  in- 
firmities, Bishoj)  Turton  had  long  confined  his  ministra- 
tions to  his  private  chapel. 

Just  after  a  change  of  Government  not  many  years 
ago,  an  officer  of  the  Royal  Household  was  chatting  with 
one  of  the  Queen's  old  coachmen  (whose  name  and  loca- 
tion I,  for  obvious  reasons,  forbear  to  indicate).  ''Well, 
Whipcord,  have  you  seen  your  new  Master  of  the  Horse 
yet  ?"  "Yes,  sir,  I  have ;  and  I  should  say  that  his  lord- 
ship is  more  of  an  in-doors  man."  The  phrase  has  a  touch 
of  genial  contempt  for  a  long-descended  but  effete  aris- 
tocracy which  tickles  the  democratic  palate.     It  was  not 

314 


THE  ART  OF  PUTTING  THINGS 

old  Whipcord,  but  a  brother  in  the  craft,  who,  when 
asked,  during  the  Jubilee  of  1887,  if  he  was  driving  any 
of  the  Imperial  and  Royal  guests  then  quartered  at  Buck- 

/  ingham  Palace,  replied,  with  calm  self-respect :  "  No,  sir  ; 
I  am  the  Queen's  coachman.  I  don't  drive  the  riff-raff." 
I  take  this  to  be  a  sublime  instance  of  the  Art  of  Putting 
Things.     Lingering  for  a  moment  on  these  back-stairs  of 

history,  let  me  tell  the  tragic  tale  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  M . 

Mr.  M was  one  of  the  merchant-princes  of  London, 

and  Mrs.  M had  occasion  to  engage  a  new  house- 
keeper for  their  palace  in  Park  Lane.  The  outgoing  of- 
ficial wrote  to  her  incoming  successor  a  detailed  account 
of  the  house  and  its  inmates.  The  butler  was  a  very 
pleasant  man.  The  chef  was  inclined  to  tipple.  The 
lady's-maid  gave  herself  airs ;  and  the  head  housemaid 
was  a  very  well  principled  young  woman — and  so  on  and 
so  forth.  After  the  signature,  huddled  away  in  a  casual 
postscript,  came  the  damning  sentence,  "As  for  Mr.  and 

■^  Mrs.  M ,  they  behave  as  tvell  as  they  know  how. "    Was 

it  by  inadvertence,  or  from  a  desire  to  let  people  know 
their  proper  place,  that  the  recipient  of  this  letter  al- 
lowed its  contents  to  find  their  way  to  the  children  of  the 
family  ? 

As  incidentally  indicated  above,  a  free  recourse  to  al- 
coholic stimulus  used  to  be,  in  less  temperate  days,  close- 
ly associated  with  the  culinary  art ;  and  one  of  the  best 
cooks  I  ever  knew  was  urged  by  her  mistress  to  attend  a 
great  meeting  for  the  propagation  of  the  Blue  Ribbon,  to 
be  held  not  a  hundred  miles  from  Southampton,  and  ad- 
dressed by  a  famous  preacher  of  total  abstinence.  The 
meeting  was  enthusiastic,  and  the  Blue  Ribbon  was  free- 
ly distributed.  Next  morning  the  lady  anxiously  asked 
her  cook  what  effect  the  oratory  had  produced  on  her, 
and  she  replied,  with  the  evident  sense  of  narrow  escape 

from  imminent  danger,  "  Well,  my  lady,  if  Mr. had 

315 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

gone  on  for  five  minutes  more,  I  believe  I  should  have 
/  taken  the  Kibbon  too  ;  but,  thank  goodness  !  he  stopped 
in  time." 

So  far,  I  find,  I  have  chiefly  dealt  with  the  Art  of  Put- 
ting Things  as  practised  by  the  "  urbane  "  or  town-bred 
classes.  Let  me  give  a  few  instances  of  ''pagan"  or 
countrified  use.  The  blacksmith  of  my  native  village  was 
describing  to  me  with  unaffected  pathos  the  sudden  death 
of  his  very  aged  father  ;  "and,"  he  simply  added,  ''the 
worst  part  of  it  was  that  I  had  to  go  and  break  it  to  my 
poor  old  mother."  Genuinely  entering  into  my  friend's 
grief,  I  said  :  "  Yes  ;  that  must  have  been  terrible.  How 
did  you  break  it  ?"  "  Well,  I  went  into  her  cottage  and 
.  I  said,  'Dad's  dead.'  She  said,  'What?'  and  I  said, 
'Dad's  dead,  and  you  may  as  well  know  it  first  as  last.'" 
Breaking  it !  Truly  a  curious  instance  of  the  rural  Art 
of  Putting  Things. 

A  laborer  in  Buckinghamshire,  being  asked  how  the 
rector  of  the  village  was,  replied,  "  Well,  he's  getting 
wonderful  old  ;  but  they  do  tell  me  that  his  understand- 
ing's no  worse  than  it  always  was" — a  pagan  synonym 
for  the  hackneyed  phrase  that  one  is  in  full  jDossession  of 
one's  faculties.  This  entire  avoidance  of  flattering  cir- 
cumlocutions, though  it  sometimes  produces  these  rather 
startling  effects,  gives  a  peculiar  raciness  to  rustic  ora- 
tory. Not  long  ago  a  member  for  a  rural  constituency, 
who  had  always  professed  the  most  democratic  senti- 
ments, suddenly  astonished  his  constituents  by  taking  a 
peerage.  During  the  election  caused  by  his  transmigra- 
tion, one  of  his  former  supporters  said  at  a  public  meet- 
ing: "Mr.  says  as  how  he's  going  to  the  House  of 

Lords  to  leaven  it.  I  tell  you  he  can't  no  more  leaven  the 
xHouse  of  Lords  than  you  can  sweeten  a  cart-load  of  muck 
with  a  pot  of  marmalade."  During  the  General  Elec- 
tion of  1892  I  heard  an  old  laborer  on  a  village  green  de- 

316 


THE  ART  OF  PUTTING  THINGS 

nouncing  the  evils  of  an  Established  Church.  "I'll  tell 
you  how  it  is  with  one  of  these  'ere  State  parsons.  If 
you  take  away  his  book,  he  can't  preach  ;  and  if  you  take 

/  away  his  gownd,  he  mus'n't  preach  ;  and  if  you  take  away 
his  screw,  he'll  be  damned  if  he'll  preach."  The  humor 
which  underlies  the  roughness  of  countrified  speech  is 
often  not  only  genuine  but  subtle.  I  have  heard  a  story 
of  a  young  laborer  who,  on  his  way  to  his  day's  work, 
called  at  the  registrar's  office  to  register  his  father's 
death.  When  the  official  asked  the  date  of  the  event,  the 
son  replied,  "He  ain't  dead  yet,  but  he'll  be  dead  before 
night,  so  I  thought  it  would  save  me  another  journey  if 
you  would  put  it  down  now."  "Oh,  that  won't  do  at 
all,"  said  the  registrar ;  "  perhaps  your  father  will  live 
till  to-morrow."  "Well,  I  don't  know,  sir;  the  doctor 

/'  says  as  he  won't ;  and  he  knoius  tvhat  he  has  given 
him." 

The  accomplished  authoress  of  Country  Conversations 
has  put  on  record  some  delightful  specimens  of  rural 
dialogue,  culled  chiefly  from  the  laboring  classes  of 
Cheshire.  And,  rising  in  the  social  scale  from  the  la- 
borer to  the  farmer,  what  could  be  more  life-like  than 
this  tale  of  an  ill-starred  wooing  ?  "  My  son  Tom  has 
met  with  a  disappointment  about  getting  married.    You 

know  he's  got  that  nice  farm  at  H ;  so  he  met  a 

young  lady  at  a  dance,  and  he  was  very  much  took  up, 
and  she  seemed  quite  agreeable.  So,  as  he  heard  she 
had  Five  Hundred,  he  wrote  next  day  to  purshue  the  ac- 
quaintance, and  her  father  wrote  and  asked  Tom  to  come 

over  to  S .     Eh,  dear  !     Poor  fellow  !     He  went  off 

in  such  sperrits,  and  he  looked  so  spruce  in  his  best 
clothes,  with  a  new  tie  and  all.  So  next  day,  when  I 
heard  him  come  to  the  gate,  I  ran  out  as  pleased  as 
could  be  ;  but  I  see  in  a  moment  he  was  sadly  cast  down. 
'  Why,  Tom,  my  lad,'  says  I,  '  what  is  it  ?'     'Why,  moth- 

317 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

er/  says  he,  '  she'd  understood  mine  was  a  harable,  and 
she  will  not  marry  to  a  dairy.'" 

From  Cheshire  to  East  Anglia  is  a  far  cry,  but  let  me 
give  one  more  lesson  in  the  Art  of  Putting  Things,  de- 
rived from  that  delightful  writer,  Dr.  Jessopp.  In  one 
of  his  studies  of  rural  life  the  Doctor  tells  in  his  own 
inimitable  style  a  story  of  which  the  moral  is  the  necessi- 
ty of  using  plain  words  when  you  are  preaching  to  the 
poor.  The  story  runs  that  in  the  parish  where  he  served 
his  first  curacy  there  was  an  old  farmer  on  whom  had 
fallen  all  the  troubles  of  Job — loss  of  stock,  loss  of  cap- 
ital, eviction  from  his  holding,  the  death  of  his  wife, 
and  the  failure  of  his  own  health.  The  well-meaning 
young  curate,  though  full  of  compassion,  could  find  no 
more  novel  topic  of  consolation  than  to  say  that  all  these 
trials  were  the  dispensations  of  Providence.  On  this  the 
poor  old  victim  brightened  up  and  said  with  a  cheerful 
smile,  "  Ah  yes,  sir ;  I  know  that  right  enough.  That 
old  Providence  has  been  against  me  all  along ;  but  I 
reckon  there's  One  above  that  will  put  a  stopper  on  him 
if  he  goes  too  far."  Evidently,  as  Dr.  Jessopp  observes, 
"  Providence"  was  to  the  good  old  man  a  learned  syn- 
onym for  the  devil. 


XXXII 

CHILDREN 

The  hnmors  of  childhood  include  in  rich  abundance 
both  Things  which  would  have  been  better  left  unsaid 
and  Things  which  might  have  been  expressed  differently. 
But  just  now  they  lack  their  sacred  bard.  There  is  no 
one  to  observe  and  chronicle  them.  It  is  a  pity,  for  the 
"heart  that  watches  and  receives"  will  often  find  in  the 
pleasantries  of  childhood  a  good  deal  that  deserves  per- 
petuation. 

The  children  of  fiction  are  a  mixed  company,  some 

■\-  life-like  and  some  eminently  the  reverse.     In  Joan  Miss 

Khoda  Broughton  drew  with  unequalled  skill  a  family  of 

odious  children.      Henry  Kingsley  took  a  more  genial 

view  of  his  subject,  and  sketched  some  pleasant  children 

^  in  Austin  Elliot,  and  some  delightful  ones  in  the  last 
chapter  of  Ravenshoe.     The  "Last  of  the   Neros"  in 

*-■  Barchester  Towers  is  admirably  drawn,  and  all  elderly 
bachelors  must  have  sympathized  with  good  Mr.  Thorne 
when,  by  way  of  making  himself  agreeable  to  the  mother, 
Signora  Vesey-Neroni,  he  took  the  child  upon  his  knee, 
jumping  her  up  and  down,  saying,  "  Diddle,  diddle,  did- 
dle," and  was  rewarded  with,  "  I  don't  want  to  be  did- 
dle-diddle-diddled.  Let  me  go,  you  naughty  old  man." 
Dickens's  children  are  by  common  consent  intolerable, 
but  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago  we  were  all  thrilled  by 

'  Miss  Montgomery's  Misuyider stood.  It  is  credibly  re- 
ported that  an  earlier  and  more  susceptible  generation 

319 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

was  moved  to  tears  by  the  sinfulness  of  Topsy  and  the 
saintliness  of  Eva ;  and  the  adventures  of  the  Fairchild 
Family  enjoy  a  deserved  popularity  among  all  lovers  of 
unintentional  humor.  But  the  "sacred  bard"  of  child- 
life  was  John  Leech,  whose  twofold  skill  immortalized 
it  with  pen  and  with  pencil.  The  childish  incidents  and 
sayings  which  Leech  illustrated  were,  I  believe,  always 
taken  from  real  life.  His  sisters  "kept  an  establish- 
ment," as  Mr.  Dombey  said — the  very  duplicate  of  that 
to  which  little  Paul  was  sent.  " '  It  is  not  a  Prepara- 
tory School  by  any  means.  Should  I  express  my  mean- 
ing,' said  Miss  Tox  with  peculiar  sweetness,  '  if  I  desig- 
nated it  an  infantine  boarding-house  of  a  very  select 
description  ?' 

"  '  On  an  exceedingly  limited  and  particular  scale,' 
suggested  Mrs.  Chick,  with  a  glance  at  her  brother. 
"  '  Oh  !  exclusion  itself,'  said  Miss  Tox." 
The  analogy  may  be  even  more  closely  pressed,  for,  as 
at  Mrs.  Pipchin's,  so  at  Miss  Leech's,  "  juvenile  nobility 
itself  was  no  stranger  to  the  establishment."  Miss  Tox 
told  Mr.  Dombey  that  "  the  humble  individual  who  now 
addressed  him  was  once  under  Mrs.  Pipchin's  charge  "; 
and,  similarly,  the  obscure  writer  of  these  papers  was 
once  under  Miss  Leech's.  Her  school  supplied  the 
originals  of  all  the  little  boys,  whether  greedy  or  gra- 
cious, grave  or  gay,  on  foot  or  on  pony-back,  in  knicker- 
bockers or  in  nightshirts,  who  figure  so  frequently  in 
Puncli  between  1850  and  1864  ;  and  one  of  the  pleasant- 
est  recollections  of  those  distant  days  is  the  kindness 
with  which  the  great  artist  used  to  receive  us  when,  as 
the  supreme  reward  of  exceptionally  good  conduct,  we 
were  taken  to  see  him  in  his  studio  at  Kensington.  It  is 
my  rule  not  to  quote  at  length  from  what  is  readily 
accessible,  and  therefore  I  cull  only  one  delightful  epi- 
sode from  Leech's  Sketches  of  Life  and  Character.     Two 

320 


/ 


/ 


CHILDREN 

little  chaps  are  discnssing  the  age  of  a  third,  and  the 
one  reflectively  remarks  :  "  Well,  I  don't  'zactly  know 
how  old  Charlie  is ;  but  he  must  be  very  old,  for  he 
blows  his  own  nose."  Happy  and  far-distant  days,  when 
such  an  accomplishment  seemed  to  be  characteristic  of  a 
remotely  future  age  !  "  Mamma,"  inquired  an  infant 
aristocrat  of  a  superlatively  refined  mother,  ''  when  shall 
I  be  old  enough  to  eat  bread  and  cheese  with  a  knife, 
and  put  the  knife  in  my  mouth  ?"  But  the  answer  is 
not  recorded. 

The  vagueness  of  the  young  with  respect  to  the  age 
of  their  elders  is  pleasingly  illustrated  by  the  early  his- 
tory of  a  nobleman  who  recently  represented  a  division 
of  Manchester  in  Parliament.  His  mother  had  a  maid, 
who  seemed  to  childish  eyes  extremely  old.  The  chil- 
dren of  the  family  longed  to  know  her  age,  but  were 
much  too  well  -  bred  to  ask  a  question  which  they  felt 
would  be  painful ;  so  they  sought  to  attain  the  desired 
end  by  a  system  of  ingenious  traps.  The  future  Mem- 
ber for  Manchester  chanced  in  a  lucky  hour  to  find 
in  his  Book  of  Useful  Knowledge  the  tradition  that 
the  aloe  flowers  only  once  in  a  hundred  years.  He  in- 
stantly saw  his  opportunity,  and,  accosting  the  maid 
with  winning  air  and  wheedling  accent,  asked  insinuat- 
ingly, "Dunn,  have  you  often  seen  the  aloe  flower  ?" 

The  Enfant  Terrible,  though  his  name  is  imported 
from  France,  is  an  indigenous  growth  of  English  soil.  A 
young  husband  and  wife  of  my  acquaintance  were  con- 
versing in  the  comfortable  belief  that  "Tommy  didn't 
understand,"  when  Tommy  looked  up  from  his  toys  and 
said,  reprovingly,  "Mamma,  oughtn't  you  to  have  said 
that  in  French  ?" 

The  late  Lord ,  who  had  a  deformed  foot,  was  going 

to  visit  the  Queen  at  Osborne,  and  before  his  arrival  the 
Queen  and  Prince  Albert  debated  whether  it  would  be 
X  321 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

better  to  warn  the  Prince  of  Wales  and  the  Princess 
Royal  of  his  physical  peculiarity,  so  as  to  avoid  em- 
barrassing  remarks,  or   to  leave  it   to  their  own  good 

feeling.    The  latter  course  was  adopted.    Lord duly 

arrived.  The  foot  elicited  no  remarks  from  the  Royal 
children,  and  the  visit  passed  off  anxiously  but  with  suc- 
cess.    Next  day  the  Princess  Royal  asked  the  Queen, 

"  Where  is  Lord ?"    "  He  has  gone  back  to  London, 

dear."  "Oh  !  what  a  pity!  He  had  promised  to  show 
Bertie  and  me  his  foot !"  They  had  caught  him  in 
the  corridor,  and  made  their  own  terms  with  their  cap- 
tive. 

In  more  recent  years  the  little  daughter  of  one  of  the 
Queen's  most  confidential  advisers  had  the  unexampled 
honor  of  being  invited  to  luncheon  with  Her  Majesty. 
During  the  meal,  an  Illustrious  Lady,  negotiating  a 
pigeon  after  the  German  fashion,  took  up  one  of  its 
bones  with  her  finger  and  thumb.  The  little  visitor, 
whose  sense  of  British  propriety  was  stronger  than  her 
awe  of  Courts,  regarded  the  proceeding  with  wonder- 
dilated  eyes,  and  then  burst  out  :  "  Oh,  Piggy-wiggy, 
Piggy-wiggy  !  You  are  Piggy-wiggy."  Probably  she  is 
now  languishing  in  the  dungeon-keep  of  Windsor  Castle. 

If  the  essence  of  the  Enfant  Terrible  is  that  he  or 
she  causes  profound  embarrassment  to  the  surrounding 
adults,  the  palm  of  pre-eminence  must  be  assigned  to  the 
children  of  a  famous  diplomatist,  who,  some  twenty  years 
ago,  organized  a  charade  and  performed  it  without  as- 
sistance from  their  elders.  The  scene  displayed  a  Cru- 
sader knight  returning  from  the  wars  to  his  ancestral 
castle.  At  the  castle  gate  he  was  welcomed  by  his  beau- 
tiful and  rejoicing  wife,  to  whom,  after  tender  saluta- 
tions, he  recounted  his  triumphs  on  the  tented  field  and 
■"  the  number  of  paynim  whom  he  had  slain.  "  And  I,  too, 
my  lord,"  replied  his  wife,  pointing  with  conscious  pride 

323 


CHILDREN 

to  a  long  row  of  dolls  of  various  sizes — "  and  I,  too,  my 
lord,  have  not  been  idle."     Tahlemc  indeed  ! 

The  argumentative  child  is  scarcely  less  trying  than 
the  Enfant  Terrible.  Miss  Sellon,  the  foundress  of  Eng- 
lish sisterhoods,  adopted  and  brought  up  in  her  convent 
at  Devonport  a  little  Irish  waif  who  had  been  made  an 
orphan  by  the  outbreak  of  cholera  in  1849.  The  infant's 
customs  and  manners,  especially  at  table,  were  a  perpet- 
ual trial  to  a  community  of  refined  old  maids.  "  Chew 
your  food,  Aileen,"  said  Miss  Sellon.  ''  If  you  please, 
'  mother,  the  whale  didn't  chew  Jonah,"  was  the  prompt 
reply  of  the  little  Eomanist,  who  had  been  taught  that 
the  examples  of  Holy  Writ  were  for  our  imitation.  An- 
swers made  in  examinations  I  forbear,  as  a  rule,  to  quote, 
but  one  I  must  give,  because  it  so  beautifully  illustrates 
the  value  of  ecclesiastical  observances  in  our  elementary 
schools  : 

Vicar :  "  Now,  my  dear,  do  you  know  what  happened 
,   on  Ascension  Day  ?  " 

CJiild:  "  Yes,  sir,  please.    We  had  buns  and  a  swing." 

Natural  childhood  should  know  nothing  of  social  forms, 
and  the  coachman's  son  who  described  his  father's  mas- 
ter as  ''the  man  that  rides  in  dad's  carriage,"  showed  a 
finely  democratic  instinct.  But  the  boastful  child  is  a 
very  unpleasant  product  of  nature  or  of  art.  "  We've 
got  a  private  master  comes  to  teach  us  at  home,  but  we 
ain't  proud,  because  Ma  says  it's  sinful,"  quoth  Morleena 
Kenwigs,  under  her  mother's  instructions,  when  Nicholas 
Nickleby  gave  her  French  lessons.  The  infant  daughter 
of  a  country  clergyman,  drinking  tea  in  the  nursery  of 
the  episcopal  palace,  boasted  that  at  the  vicarage  they 
had  a  hen  which  laid  an  egg  every  day.  "  Oh,  that's 
nothing,"  retorted  the  bishop's  daughter  ;  "  Papa  lays  a 
foundation-stone  every  week." 

The  precocious  child,  even  when  thoroughly  well- 
333 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

meaning,  is  a  source  of  terror  by  virtue  of  its  intense 
earnestness.  In  the  days  when  Maurice  first  discredited 
the  doctrine  of  Eternal  Punishment,  some  learned  and 
theological  people  were  discussing,  in  a  country-house 
near  Oxford,  the  abstract  credibility  of  endless  pain. 
Suddenly  the  child  of  the  house  (now  its  owner),  who 
was  playing  on  the  hearth-rug,  looked  up  and  said,  "  But 
how  am  I  to  know  that  it  isn't  hell  already,  and  that  I 
am  not  in  it  ?" — a  question  which  threw  a  lurid  light  on 
his  educational  and  disciplinary  experiences.  Some  of 
my  readers  will  probably  recollect  the  "Japanese  Vil- 
lage "  at  Knightsbridge — a  pretty  show  of  Oriental  wares 
which  was  burned  down,  just  at  the  height  of  its  popular- 
ity, a  few  years  ago.  On  the  day  of  its  destruction  I  was 
at  the  house  of  a  famous  financier,  whose  children  had 
been  to  see  the  show  only  two  days  before.  One  of  them, 
an  urchin  of  eight,  immensely  interested  by  the  news  of 
the  fire,  asked,  not  if  the  pretty  things  were  burned  or  the 
people  hurt,  but  this  one  question:  ''Mamma,  was  it  in- 
sured ?"  Verily,  ton  chat  chasse  de  race.  An  excellent 
story  of  commercial  precocity  reaches  me  from  one  of 
the  many  correspondents  who  have  been  good  enough  to 
write  to  me  in  connection  with  this  series  of  papers.  It 
may  be  specially  commended  to  the  promoters  of  that 
class  of  company  which  is  specially  affected  by  the  widow, 
the  orphan,  and  the  curate.  Two  small  boys,  walking 
down  Tottenham  Court  Eoad,  passed  a  tobacconist's 
shop.  The  bigger  remarked,  "  I  say.  Bill,  I've  got  a 
ha'penny,  and  if  you've  got  one  too,  we'll  have  a  penny 
smoke  between  us."  Bill  produced  his  copper,  and 
Tommy,  diving  into  the  shop,  promptly  reappeared  with 
a  penny  cigar  in  his  mouth.  The  boys  walked  side  by 
side  for  a  few  minutes,  when  the  smaller  mildly  said,  "  I 
say,  Tom,  when  am  I  to  have  a  puff  ?  The  weed's  half 
mine."     *'  Oh,  you  shut  up,"  was  the  business-like  reply. 

324 


CHILDREN 

"  I'm  the  chairman  of  this  company,  and  you  are  only  a 
shareholder.     Yon  can  spit." 

The  joys  of  childhood  are  a  theme  on  which  a  good 
deal  of  verse  has  been  expended.  I  am  far  from  denying 
that  they  are  real,  but  I  contend  that  they  take  common- 
ly a  form  which  is  quite  inconsistent  with  poetry,  and 
that  the  poet  (like  heaven)  '^ies  about  us  in  our  infancy." 
y  "  1  wish  every  day  in  the  year  was  a  pot  of  jam,"  was  the 
obviously  sincere  exclamation  of  a  fat  little  boy  whom  I 
knew,  and  whom  Leech  would  have  delighted  to  draw. 
Two  little  London  girls  who  had  been  sent  by  the  kind- 
ness of  the  vicar's  wife  to  have  "a  happy  day  in  the 
country,"  narrating  their  experiences  on  their  return, 
,  said,  "  Oh  yes  !  mum,  we  did  'ave  a  'appy  day.  We  saw 
two  pigs  killed  and  a  gentleman  buried."  And  the  little 
boy  who  was  asked  if  he  thought  he  should  like  a  hymn- 
book  for  his  birthday  present  replied  that  "he  tliought 
.  he  should  like  a  hymn-book,  but  he  Jcnew  he  should  like 
a  squirt."  A  small  cousin  of  mine,  hearing  his  big 
brothers  describe  their  experiences  at  a  Public  School, 
observed  with  unction,  ''  If  ever  I  have  a  fag  of  my  own, 
I  will  stick  pins  into  him."  But  now  we  are  leaving 
childhood  behind,  and  attaining  to  the  riper  joys  of  full- 
blooded  boyhood. 

"  O  running  stream  of  sparkling  joy 
To  be  a  soaring  human  boy  I" 

exclaimed  Mr.  Chadband  in  a  moment  of  inspiration. 
"  In  the  strictest  sense  a  boy,"  was  Mr.  Gladstone's  ex- 
pressive phrase  in  his  controversy  with  Colonel  Dopping. 
For  my  own  part,  I  confess  to  a  frank  dislike  of  boys. 
I  dislike  them  equally  whether  they  are  priggish  boys, 
like  Kenelm  Chillingly,  who  asked  his  mother  if  she 
was  never  overpowered  by  a  sense  of  her  own  identity ; 
or  sentimental  boys,  like  Dibbins  in  Basil  the  Schoolboy, 

325 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

who,  discussing  with  a  friend  how  to  spend  a  whole 
holiday,  said,  "  Let  us  go  to  Dingley  Dell  and  talk  about 
Byron";  or  manly  boys  like  Tom  Tulliver,  of  whom  it 
is  excellently  said  that  he  was  the  kind  of  boy  who  is 
commonly  spoken  of  as  being  very  fond  of  animals — 
that  is,  very  fond  of  throwing  stones  at  them. 
Whatever  their  type, 

"  I've  seemed  of  late 
To  shrink  from  happy  boyhood — boys 
Have  grown  so  noisy,  and  I  hate 
A  noise. 
They  fright  me  when  the  beech  is  green, 

By  swarming  up  its  stem  for  eggs ; 
They  drive  their  horrid  hoops  between 

My  legs. 
It's  idle  to  repine,  I  know  ; 

I'll  tell  you  what  I'll  do  instead  : 
I'll  drink  my  arrow-root,  and  go 
To  bed." 

But  before  I  do  so  let  me  tell  one  boy-story,  connected 
with  the  Eton  and  Harrow  match,  which  has  always 
struck  me  as  rather  pleasing.  In  the  year  1866,  when 
F.  C.  Cobden,  who  was  afterwards  so  famous  for  his 
bowling  in  the  Cambridge  Eleven,  was  playing  for  Har- 
row, an  affable  father,  by  way  of  making  conversation 
for  a  little  Harrow  boy  at  Lord's,  asked,  "  Is  your  Cob- 
den any  relation  to  the  great  Cobden  ?"  "  Why,  he  is 
the  great  Cobden,"  was  the  simple  and  swift  reply. 
There  spoke  the  true  spirit  of  hero-worship. 


XXXIII 

LETTER-WEITING 

"Odd  men  write  odd  letters."  This  rather  platitudi- 
nous sentence,  from  an  otherwise  excellent  essay  of  the 
late  Bishop  Thorold's,  is  abundantly  illustrated  alike  by 
my  Collections  and  by  my  Recollections.  I  plunge  at 
random  into  my  subject,  and  immediately  encounter  the 
following  letter  from  a  Protestant  clergyman  in  the  north 
of  Ireland,  written  in  response  to  a  suggestion  that  he 
might  with  advantage  study  Mr.  Gladstone's  magnificent 
Speech  on  the  Second  Reading  of  the  Afl&rmation  Bill 
in  1883  : 

**My  dear  Sir, — I  have  received  your  recommenda- 
tion to  read  carefully  the  speech  of  Mr.  Gladstone  in 
favor  of  admitting  the  infidel  Bradlaugh  into  Parlia- 
ment. I  did  so  when  it  was  delivered,  and  I  must  say 
that  the  strength  of  argument  rests  with  the  opposition. 
I  fully  expect,  in  the  event  of  a  dissolution,  the  Govern- 
ment will  lose  between  fifty  and  sixty  seats.  Any  con- 
clusion can  be  arrived  at,  according  to  the  premises  laid 
down.  Mr.  G.  avoided  the  Scriptural  lines  and  followed 
his  own.  All  parties  knew  the  feeling  of  the  country  on 
the  subject,  and,  notwithstanding  the  bullying  and  ma- 
jority of  Gladstone,  he  was  defeated.  Before  the  Irish 
Church  was  robbed,  I  was  nominated  to  the  Deanery  of 
Tuam,  but,  Mr.  Disraeli  resigning,  I  was  defrauded  of 
my  just  right  by  Mr.  Gladstone,  and  my  wife.  Lady 

337 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

— ,  the  only  surviving  child  of  an  Earl,  was  sadly  dis- 


appointed ;  but  there  is  a  just  Judge  above.     The  letter 
of  nomination  is  still  in  my  possession. 

*'  I  am,  dear  sir,  yours  faithfully, 


It  is  highly  characteristic  of  Mr.  Gladstone  that,  when 
this  letter  was  shown  to  him  by  its  recipient  as  a  speci- 
men of  epistolary  oddity,  he  read  it,  not  with  a  smile, 
but  with  a  portentous  frown,  and,  handing  it  back, 
sternly  asked,  "  What  does  the  fellow  mean  by  quoting 
an  engagement  entered  into  by  my  predecessor  as  bind- 
ing on  me  ?" 

It  is  not  only  clergy  "  defrauded  "  of  expected  dig- 
nities that  write  odd  letters.  Young  curates  in  search 
of  benefices  often  seek  to  gratify  their  innocent  am- 
bitions by  the  most  ingenious  appeals.  Here  is  a  letter 
received  not  many  years  ago  by  the  Prime  Minister  of 
the  day  : 

"  I  have  no  doubt  but  that  your  time  is  fully  occu- 
pied. I  will  therefore  compress  as  much  as  possible 
what  I  wish  to  say,  and  frame  my  request  in  a  few 
words.     Some  time  ago  my  mother  wrote  to  her  brother. 

Lord ,  asking  him  to  try  and  do  something  for  me  in 

the  way  of  obtaining   a  living.     The  reply  from  Lady 

was  that  my  uncle  could  do  nothing  to  help  me. 

I  naturally  thought  that  a  Premier  possessed  of  such  a 
plenitude  of  power  as  yourself  could  find  it  a  matter  of 
less  difficulty  to  transform  a  curate  into  a  rector  or  vicar 
than  to  create  a  peer.  My  name  is  in  the  Chancellor's 
List — a  proceeding,  as  far  as  results,  somewhat  suggest- 
ive, I  fear,  of  the  Greek  Kalends.  .  .  .  My  future  father- 
in-law  is  a  member  of  the  City  Liberal  Club,  in  which  a 
large  bust  of  yourself  was  unveiled  last  year.    I  am  thirty- 

328 


LETTER-WRITING 

one  years  of  age  ;  a  High  Churchman  ;   musical,  etc.  ; 

graduate  of .     If  I  had  a  living  I  could  marry,  .  ,  . 

I  am  very  anxious  to  marry,  but  I  am  very  poor,  and  a 
living  would  help  me  very  much.  Being  a  Southerner, 
fond  of  music  and  of  books,  I  naturally  would  like  to  be 
somewhere  near  town.  I  hope  you  will  be  able  to  help 
me  in  this  respect,  and  thus  afford  much  happiness  to 
more  than  one." 

There  is  great  force  in  that  appeal  to  the  "large  bust." 

Here  is  are  quest  which  Bishop  Thorold  received  from  an 

admirer,  who  unfortunately  omitted  to  give  his  address : 

"  Eev.  and  learned  Sir, — Coming  into  your  pres- 
ence through  the  medium  of  a  letter,  I  do  so  in  the 
spirit  of  respect  due  to  you  as  a  gentleman  and  a 
scholar.  I  unfortunately  am  a  scholar,  biit  a  black- 
guard. I  heard  you  preach  a  few  times,  and  thought 
you  might  pity  the  position  I  have  brought  myself  to. 
I  should  be  grateful  to  you  for  an  old  coat  or  an  old  pair 
of  boots." 

And,  while  the  seekers  after  emolument  write  odd 
letters,  odd  letters  are  also  written  by  their  admirers  on 
their  behalf.  A  few  years  ago  one  of  the  principal  ben- 
efices in  West  London  was  vacated,  and,  the  presentation 
lapsing  to  the  Crown,  the  Prime  Minister  was  favored 
with  the  following  appeal : 

"  Sir, — Doubtless  you  do  not  often  get  a  letter  from  a 
working  man  on  the  subject  of  clerical  appointments,  but 
as  I  here  you  have  got  to  find  a  minister  for  to  fill  Mr. 
Boyd  Carpenter's  place,  allow  me  to  ask  you  to  just  go 
some  Sunday  afternoon  and  here  our  little  curate,  Mr. 

,  at  St.  Matthew's  Church — he  is  a  good.  Earnest 

little  man,  and  a  genuine  little  Fellow  ;  got  no  humbug 

829 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

about  him,  but  a  sound  Churchman,  is  an  Extempor 
Preacher,  and  deserves  promotion.  Nobody  knows  I 
am  writing  to  you,  and  it  is  not  a  matter  of  kiss  and  go 
by  favor,  but  simply  asking  you  to  take  a  run  over  and 
here  him,  and  then  put  him  a  stept  higher — he  deserves 
it.  I  know  Mr.  Snlivan  will  give  him  a  good  character, 
and  so  will  Mr.  Alcroft,  the  Patron.  Now  do  go  over 
and  here  him  before  you  make  a  choice.  We  working 
men  will  be  sorry  to  lose  him,  but  we  think  he  ought  not 
to  be  missed  promotion,  as  he  is  a  good  fellow. 
"  Your  obediently  servant.'* 

Ladies,  as  might  naturally  be  expected,  are  even  more 
enthusiastic  in  advocating  the  claims  of  their  favorite 
divines.  Writing  lately  on  the  Agreeableness  of  Clergy- 
men, I  described  some  of  the  Canons  of  St.  Paul's  and 
Westminster,  and  casually  referred  to  the  handsome 
presence  of  Dr.  Duckworth.  I  immediately  received  the 
following  effusion,  which,  wishing  to  oblige  the  writer, 
and  having  no  access  to  the  Church  Family  Neiuspaper, 
I  now  make  public  : 

"  A  member  of  the  Kev.  Canon  Duckworth's  congrega- 
tion for  more  than  twenty-five  years  has  been  much  pained 
by  the  scant  and  curious  manner  in  which  he  is  mentioned 
by  you,  and  begs  to  say  that  his  Gospel  teaching,  his 
scholarly  and  yet  simple  and  charitable  discourses  (and 
teaching),  his  courteous  and  sympathetic  and  prompt  an- 
swers to  his  people's  requests  and  inquiries,  his  energet- 
ic and  constant  work  in  his  parish,  are  beyond  praise. 
Added  to  all  is  his  clear  and  sonorous  voice  in  his  ren- 
dering of  the  prayer  and  praise  amongst  us.  A  grateful 
parishioner  hopes  and  ashs  for  some  further  recognition 
of  his  position  in  the  Church  of  Christ,  in  the  Church 
Family  Newspaper,  June  12." 

330 


LETTER-WRITING 

So  far  the  Church.     I  now  turn  to  the  world. 

In  the  second  volume  of  Lord  Beaconsficld's  Endymion 
will  be  found  a  description,  by  a  hand  which  was  never 
excelled  in  that  sort  of  business,  of  that  grotesque  revi- 
val of  mediasval  mummery,  the  Tournament  at  Eglin- 
toun  Castle  in  1839.  But  the  writer,  conceding  some- 
thing to  the  requirements  of  art,  ignores  the  fact  that 
the  splendid  pageant  was  spoiled  by  rain.  Two  years' 
preparation  and  enormous  expense  were  thrown  away. 
A  grand  cavalcade,  in  which  Prince  Louis  Napoleon  rode 
as  one  of  the  knights,  left  Eglintoun  Castle  on  August 
28  at  two  in  the  afternoon,  with  heralds,  banners,  pur- 
suivants, the  knight-marshal,  the  jester,  the  King  of  the 
Tournament,  the  Queen  of  Beauty,  and  a  glowing  assem- 
blage of  knights  and  ladies,  seneschals,  chamberlains, 
esquires,  pages,  and  men-at-arms,  and  took  their  way  in 
procession  to  the  lists,  which  were  overlooked  by  galler- 
ies in  which  nearly  two  thousand  spectators  were  ac- 
commodated ;  but  all  the  while  the  rain  came  down  in 
bucketsful,  never  ceased  while  the  tourney  proceeded, 
and  brought  the  proceedings  to  a  premature  and  igno- 
minious close.  I  only  mention  the  occurrence  here  be- 
cause the  Queen  of  Beauty,  elected  to  that  high  honor 
by  unanimous  acclamation,  was  Jane  Sheridan,  Lady 
Seymour  ;  and  there  is  all  the  charm  of  vivid  contrast  in 
turning  from  the  reckless  expenditure  and  fantastic  brill- 
iancy of  1839  to  the  following  correspondence,  which 
was  published  in  the  newspapers  in  the  early  part  of 
1840. 

Anne,  Lady  Shuckburgh,  was  the  wife  of  Sir  Francis 
Shuckburgh,  a  Northamptonshire  baronet,  and  to  her  the 
Queen  of  Beauty,  forsaking  the  triumphs  of  chivalry  for 
the  duties  of  domestic  economy,  addressed  the  following 
letter : 


331 


COLLECTIONS    AND   RECOLLECTIONS 

"  Lady  Seymour  presents  her  compliments  to  Lady 
Shuckbnrgh,  and  would  be  obliged  to  her  for  the  charac- 
ter of  Mary  Stedman,  who  states  that  she  lived  twelve 
months,  and  still  is,  in  Lady  Shuckburgh's  establish- 
ment. Can  Mary  Stedman  cook  plain  dishes  well  ?  make 
bread  ?  and  is  she  honest,  good-tempered,  sober,  willing, 
and  cleanly  ?  Lady  Seymour  would  also  like  to  know 
the  reason  why  she  leaves  Lady  Shuckburgh's  service  ? 
Direct,  under  cover  to  Lord  Seymour,  Maiden  Bradley." 

To  this  polite  and  business-like  inquiry  Lady  Shuck- 
burgh  replied  as  follows : 

"  Lady  Shuckburgh  presents  her  compliments  to  Lady 
Seymour.  Her  ladyship's  note,  dated  October  28,  only 
reached  her  yesterday,  November  3.  Lady  Shuckburgh 
was  unacquainted  Avith  the  name  of  the  kitchan-maid 
until  mentioned  by  Lady  Seymour,  as  it  is  her  custom 
neither  to  apply  for  or  give  characters  to  any  of  the  un- 
der servants,  this  being  always  done  by  the  housekeeper, 
Mrs.  Couch — and  this  was  well  known  to  the  young 
woman  ;  therefore  Lady  Shuckburgh  is  surprised  at  her 
referring  any  lady  to  her  for  a  character.  Lady  Shuck- 
burgh having  a  professed  cook,  as  well  as  a  housekeeper, 
in  her  establishment,  it  is  not  very  likely  she  herself 
should  know  anything  of  the  abilities  or  merits  of  the 
under  servants ;  therefore  she  is  unable  to  answer  Lady 
Seymour's  note.  Lady  Shuckburgh  cannot  imagine 
Mary  Stedman  to  be  capable  of  cooking  for  any  except 
the  servants'-hall  table. 

"  November  4,  Pavilion,  Hans  Place." 

But  Sheridan's  granddaughter  was  quite  the  wrong  sub- 
ject for  these  experiments  in  fine-ladyism,  and  she  lost 
no  time  in  replying  as  follows  : 

"Lady  Seymour  presents  her  compliments  to  Lady 
333 


LETTER-WRITING 

Shnckbnrgh,  and  begs  she  will  order  her  housekeeper, 
Mrs.  Pouch,  to  send  the  girl's  character  without  delay ; 
otherwise  another  young  woman  will  be  sought  for  else- 
where, as  Lady  Seymour's  children  cannot  remain  with- 
out their  dinners  because  Lady  Shuckburgh,  keeping  a 
'professed  cook  and  a  housekeeper,' thinks  a  knowledge 
of  the  details  of  her  establishment  beneath  her  notice. 
Lady  Seymour  understands  from  Stedman  that,  in  addi- 
tion to  her  other  talents,  she  was  actually  capable  of 
dressing  food  fit  for  the  little  Shuckburghs  to  partake  of 
when  hungry." 

To  this  note  was  appended  a  pen-and-ink  vignette  by 
Lady  Seymour  representing  the  three  "  little  Shuck- 
burghs," with  large  heads  and  cauliflower  wigs,  sitting 
at  a  round  table  and  voraciously  scrambling  for  mutton 
chops  dressed  by  Mary  Stedman,  who  was  seen  looking  on 
with  supreme  satisfaction,  while  Lady  Shuckburgh  ap- 
peared in  the  distance  in  evident  dismay.  A  crushing 
rejoinder  closed  this  correspondence  : 

"  Madam, — Lady  Shuckburgh  has  directed  me  to  ac- 
quaint you  that  she  declines  answering  your  note,  the 
vulgarity  of  which  is  beneath  contempt  ;  and  although  it 
may  be  the  characteristic  of  the  Sheridans  to  be  vulgar, 
coarse,  and  witty,  it  is  not  that  of  a  Mady,'  unless  she  hap- 
pens to  have  been  born  in  a  garret  and  bred  in  a  kitchen. 
Mary  Stedman  informs  me  that  your  ladyship  does  not 
keep  either  a  cook  or  a  housekeeper,  and  that  you  only  re- 
quire a  girl  who  can  cook  a  mutton  chop.  If  so,  I  appre- 
hend that  Mary  Stedman,  or  any  other  scullion,  will  be 
found  fully  equal  to  cook  for  or  manage  the  establishment 
of  the  Queen  of  Beauty.     I  am,  your  Ladyship,  &c., 

'•^  Elizabeth  Couch  (not  Pouch)." 

"Odd  men,"  quoth  Bishop  Thorold,  "write  odd  let- 
333 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

ters,"  and  so  do  odd  women.  The  original  of  the  follow- 
ing epistle  to  Mr.  Gladstone  lies  before  me.  It  is  dated 
Cannes,  March  15,  1893  : 

"  Far  away  from  my  native  Land,  my  bitter  indigna- 
tion as  a  Welshwoman  prompts  me  to  reproach  you,  you 
had,  wicked,  false,  treacherous  Old  Man  !  for  your  iniqui- 
tous scheme  to  roh  and  overthrow  the  dearly  beloved  Old 
Church  of  my  Country.  You  have  no  conscience,  but  I 
pray  that  God  may  even  yet  give  you  one  that  will  sorely 
smart  and  trouble  you  before  you  die.  You  pretend  to 
be  religious,  you  old  hypocrite  !  that  you  may  more  suc- 
cessfully pander  to  the  evil  passions  of  the  lowest  and 
most  ignorant  of  the  Welsh  people.  But  you  neither 
care  for  nor  respect  the  principles  of  Eeligion,  or  you 
would  not  distress  the  minds  of  all  true  Christian  people 
by  instigating  a  mob  to  commit  the  awful  sin  of  Sacri- 
lege. You  think  you  will  shine  in  History,  but  it  will 
be  a  notoriety  similar  to  that  of  Nero.  I  see  some  one 
pays  you  the  unintentional  compliment  of  comparing  you 
to  Pontius  Pilate,  and  I  am  sorry,  for  Pilate,  though  a 
political  time-server,  was,  with  all  his  faults,  a  very  re- 
spectable man  in  comparison  with  you.  And  he  did  not, 
like  you,  profess  the  Christian  Religion.  You  are  cer- 
tainly clever.  So  also  is  your  lord  and  master  the  Devil. 
And  I  cannot  regard  it  as  sinful  to  hate  and  despise  you, 
any  more  than  it  is  sinful  to  abhor  Him.  So  with  full 
measure  of  contempt  and  detestation,  accept  these  com- 
pliments from 

"  A  Daughter  of  Old  Wales." 

It  is  a  triumph  of  female  perseverance  and  ingenuity 
that  the  whole  of  the  foregoing  is  compressed  into  a  sin- 
gle post-card. 

Some  letters,  like  the  foregoing,  are  odd  from  their  ex- 
traordinary rudeness.     Others — not  usually,  it  must  be 

334 


LETTER-WRITING 

admitted.  Englishmen's  letters — are  odd  from  their  ex- 
cessive civility.  An  Italian  priest  working  in  London 
wrote  to  a  Roman  Catholic  M.P.,  asking  for  an  order  of 
admission  to  the  House  of  Commons,  and,  on  receiving 
it,  acknowledged  it  as  follows  : 

"  To  the  Hon.  Mr. ,  M.P. 

"  Hon.  Sir,  Son  in  Jesu  Christ,  I  beg  most  respectfully 
you,  Hon.  Sir,  to  accept  the  very  deep  gratitude  for  the 
ticket  which  you,  Hon.  Sir,  with  noble  kindness  favored 
me  by  post  to-day.  May  the  Blessing  of  God  Almighty 
come  upon  you,  Hon.  Sir,  and  may  he  preserve  you,  Hon. 
Sir,  for  ever  and  ever.  Amen.  With  all  due  respect,  I 
have  the  honor  to  be,  Hon.  Sir,  your  most 
"  humble  and  obedient  servant. 


Surely  the  British  Constituent  might  take  a  lesson 
from  this  extremely  polite  letter-writer  when  his  long- 
suffering  member  has  squeezed  him  into  the  Strangers' 
Gallery. 

Some  letters,  again,  are  odd  from  their  excess  of  can- 
dor. A  gentleman,  unknown  to  me,  soliciting  pecuniary 
assistance,  informed  me  that,  having ''sought  relief  from 
trouble  in  dissipation,"  he  "  committed  an  act  which  sent 
him  into  Penal  Servitude,"  and  shortly  after  his  release 
"  wrote  a  book  containing  many  suggestions  for  the  re- 
form of  prison  discipline."  A  lady,  widely  known  for 
the  benevolent  use  she  makes  of  great  wealth,  received 
a  letter  from  an  absolute  stranger,  setting  forth  that  he 
had  been  so  unfortunate  as  to  overdraw  his  account  at 
his  banker's,  and  adding,  *'As  I  know  that  it  will  only 
cost  you  a  scratch  of  the  pen  to  set  this  right,  I  make 
no  apology  for  asking  you  to  do  so." 

Among  "  odd  men  "  might  certainly  be  reckoned  the 
late  Archdeacon  Denison,  and  he  displayed  his  oddness 

335 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

very  characteristically  when,  having  quarrelled  with  the 
Committee  of  Council  on  Education,  he  refused  to  have 
his  parish  schools  inspected,  and  thus  intimated  his  re- 
solve to  the  inspector  : 

"  My  dear  Bellairs, — I  love  you  very  much  ;  but,  if 
you  ever  come  here  again  to  inspect,  I  lock  the  door  of 
the  school,  and  tell  the  boys  to  put  you  in  the  pond." 

I  am  not  sure  whether  the  great  Duke  of  Wellington 
can  probably  be  described  as  an  "  odd  man,"  but  beyond 
question  he  wrote  odd  letters.  I  have  already  quoted 
from  his  reply  to  Mrs.  Norton,  when  she  asked  leave  to 
dedicate  a  song  to  him — "I  have  made  it  a  rule  to  have 
nothing  dedicated  to  me,  and  have  kept  it  in  every  in- 
stance, though  I  have  been  Chancellor  of  the  University 
of  Oxford,  and  in  other  situations  much  exposed  to  au- 
thors."  The  Duke  replied  to  every  letter  that  he  re- 
ceived, but  his  replies  were  not  always  acceptable  to 
their  recipients.  When  a  philanthropist  begged  him  to 
present  some  petitions  to  the  House  of  Lords  on  behalf 
of  the  wretched  chimney-sweeps,  the  Duke  wrote  back  : 
"Mr.  Stevens  had  tliouglit  fit  to  leave  some  petitions 
at  Apsley  House.  They  will  be  found  with  the  porter." 
The  Duke's  correspondence  with  "Miss  J.,"  which  was 
published  by  Mr.  Fisher  Unwin  some  ten  years  ago,  and 
is  much  less  known  than  it  deserves  to  be,  contains  some 
gems  of  composition.  Miss  J.  consulted  the  Duke  about 
her  duty  when  a  fellow -passenger  in  the  stage-coach 
swore,  and  he  wrote :  "I  don't  consider  with  you  that 
it  is  necessary  to  enter  into  a  disputation  with  every  wan- 
dering Blasphemer.  Much  must  depend  upon  the  cir- 
cumstances." And  when  the  good  lady  mixed  flirtation 
with  piety,  and  irritability  with  both,  he  wrote  :  "The 
Duke  of  Wellington  presents  His  Compliments  to  Miss  J. 

336 


LETTER-WRITING 

She  is  quite  mistaken.  He  has  no  Lock  of  Hair  of  Hers. 
He  never  had  one." 

Cnrtness  in  letter-writing  does  not  necessarily  indicate 
oddity.  It  often  is  the  most  judicious  method  of  avoid- 
ing interminable  correspondence.  When  one  of  Bishop 
Thorold's  clergy  wrote  to  beg  leave  of  absence  from  his 
duties  in  order  that  he  might  make  a  long  tour  in  the 

East,  he   received   for  all   reply :    "  Dear  ,  Go   to 

Jericho. — Yours,  A.W.R."  At  a  moment  when  scarlet- 
fever  was  ravaging  Haileybury,  and  suggestions  for  treat- 
ment were  pouring  in  by  every  post,  the  Head  Master  had 
a  lithographed  answer  prepared,  which  ran :  "  Dear 
Sir,  —  I  am  obliged  by  your  opinions,  and  retain  my 
own."  An  admirable  answer  was  made  by  another  Head 
Master  to  a  pompous  matron,  who  wrote  that,  before  she 
sent  her  boy  to  his  school,  she  must  ask  if  he  was  very 
particular  about  the  social  antecedents  of  his  pupils  : 
''Dear  madam,  as  long  as  your  son  behaves  himself  and 
his  fees  are  paid,  no  questions  will  be  asked  about  his 
social  antecedents." 

Sydney  Smith's  reply,  when  Lord  Houghton,  then 
young  "Dicky  Milues,"  wrote  him  an  angry  letter  about 
some  supposed  unfriendliness,  was  a  model  of  mature 
and  genial  wisdom:  "Dear  Milnes, —  Never  lose  your 
good  temper,  which  is  one  of  your  best  qualities."  When 
the  then  Dean  of  Hereford  wrote  a  solemn  and  elaborate 
letter  to  Lord  John  Russell,  announcing  that  he  and  his 
colleagues  would  refuse  to  elect  Dr.  Hampden  to  the 
See,  Lord  John  replied  :  "  Sir,— I  have  had  the  honor 
to  receive  your  letter  of  the  22d  inst.,  in  which  you  in- 
timate to  me  your  intention  of  violating  the  law."    Some 

years  ago  Lady  ,  who  is  well  known  as  an  ardent 

worker  in  the  interests   of  the  Roman  Church,  wrote 

to  the  Duke  of ,  who  was  equally  known  as  a  sturdy 

Protestant,  that  she  was  greatly  interested  in  a  Roman 
Y  337 


COLLECTIONS  AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

Catholic  charity,  and,  knowing  the  Duke's  wide  benevo- 
lence, had  ventured  to  put  down  his  name  for  £100. 
The  Duke  wrote  back  :  "  Dear  Lady ,  — It  is  a  curi- 
ous coincidence  that,  just  before  I  got  your  letter,  I  had 
put  down  your  name  for  a  like  sum  to  the  English  Mis- 
sion for  Converting  Irish  Catholics  ;  so  no  money  need 
pass  between  us."  But  perhaps  the  supreme  honors  of 
curt  correspondence  belong  to  Mr.  Bright.  Let  one 
instance  suffice.  Having  been  calumniated  by  a  Tory 
orator  at  Barrow,  Mr.  Bright  wrote  as  follows  about  his 
traducer :  "  He  may  not  know  that  he  is  ignorant,  but 
he  cannot  be  ignorant  that  he  lies.  And  after  such  a 
speech  the  meeting  thanked  him  —  I  presume  because 
they  enjoyed  what  he  had  given  them.  I  think  the 
speaker  was  named  Smith.  He  is  a  discredit  to  the 
numerous  family  of  that  name." 


XXXIV 

OFFICIALDOM 

The  annonncements  relating  to  the  first  Cabinet  of 
the  winter  set  me  thinking  whether  my  readers  might 
be  interested  in  seeing  what  I  have  '^collected"  as  to 
the  daily  life  and  labors  of  Her  Majesty's  Ministers.  I 
decided  that  I  would  try  the  experiment,  and,  acting  on 
the  principle  which  I  have  professed  before — that  when 
once  one  has  deliberately  chosen  certain  words  to  express 
one's  meaning  one  cannot,  as  a  rule,  alter  them  with 
advantage — I  have  obtained  the  kind  permission  of  the 
editor  of  the  Windsor  Magazine  to  borrow  from  some  for- 
mer writings  of  my  own. 

The  Cabinet  is  the  Board  of  Directors  of  the  British 
Empire.  All  its  members  are  theoretically  equal;  but, 
as  at  other  Boards,  the  effective  power  really  resides  in 
three  or  four.  At  the  present  moment  Manchester  is 
represented  by  one  of  these  potent  few.  Saturday  is  the 
usual  day  for  the  meeting  of  the  Cabinet,  though  it  may 
be  convened  at  any  moment  as  special  occasion  arises. 
Describing  the  potato-disease  which  settled  the  repeal  of 
the  Corn  Laws,  Lord  Beaconsfield  wrote  :  "  This  mys- 
terious but  universal  sickness  of  a  single  root  changed 
the  history  of  the  world.  'There  is  no  gambling  like 
politics,'  said  Lord  Eoehampton,  as  he  glanced  at  the 
Times :  '  four  Cabinets  in  one  week  !  The  Government 
must  be  more  sick  than  the  potatoes  !' " 

Twelve  is  the  usual  hour  for  the  meeting  of  the 
339 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

Cabinet,  and  the  business  is  generally  over  by  two.  At 
the  Cabinets  held  during  November  the  legislative  pro- 
gramme for  next  session  is  settled,  and  the  preparation 
of  each  measure  is  assigned  to  a  sub-committee  of  Minis- 
ters specially  conversant  with  the  subject-matter.  Lord 
Salisbury  holds  his  Cabinets  at  the  Foreign  Office ;  but 
the  old  place  of  meeting  was  the  official  residence  of  the 
First  Lord  of  the  Treasury  at  10  Downing  Street,  in  a 
pillared  room  looking  over  the  Horse  Guards  Parade, 
and  hung  with  portraits  of  departed  First  Lords. 

In  theory,  of  course,  the  proceedings  of  the  Cabinet 
are  absolutely  secret.  The  Privy  Councillor's  oath 
prohibits  all  disclosures.  No  record  is  kept  of  the 
business  done.  The  door  is  guarded  by  vigilant  attend- 
ants against  possible  eavesdroppers.  The  despatch- 
boxes  which  constantly  circulate  between  Cabinet  Min- 
isters, carrying  confidential  matters,  are  locked  with 
special  keys,  said  to  date  from  the  administration  of 
Mr.  Pitt ;  and  the  possession  of  these  keys  constitutes 
admission  into  what  Lord  Beaconsfield  called  ''the 
circles  of  high  initiation."  Yet  in  reality  more  leaks 
out  than  is  supposed.  In  the  Cabinet  of  1880-5  the 
leakage  to  the  press  was  systematic  and  continuous. 
Even  Mr.  Gladstone,  the  stiffest  of  sticklers  for  official 
reticence,  held  that  a  Cabinet  Minister  might  impart 
his  secrets  to  his  wife  and  his  Private  Secretary.  The 
wives  of  official  men  are  not  always  as  trustworthy  as  Mrs. 
Bucket  in  Bleak  House,  and  some  of  the  Private  Secre- 
taries in  the  Government  of  1880  were  little  more  than 
boys.  Two  members  of  the  Cabinet  were  notorious  for 
their  free  communications  to  the  press,  and  it  was  often 
remarked  that  the  Birmingham  Daily  Post  was  pecul- 
iarly well  informed.  A  noble  lord  who  held  a  high 
office,  and  who,  though  the  most  pompous,  was  not  the 
wisest  of  mankind,  was  habitually  a  victim  to  a  certain 

340 


OFFICIALDOM 

journalist  of  known  enterprise,  who  used  to  waylay  him 
outside   Downing   Street   and   accost  him  with  jaunty 

confidence  :  "  Well,  Lord ,  so  you  have  settled  on 

so-and-so,  after  all  ?"  The  noble  lord,  astonished  that 
the  Cabinet's  decision  was  already  public  property, 
would  reply :  ''As  you  know  so  much,  there  can  be 
no  harm  in  telling  the  rest";  and  the  journalist,  grin- 
ning like  a  dog,  ran  off  to  print  the  precious  morsel  in  a 
special  edition  of  the  Millbank  Gazette.  Mr.  Justin 
McCarthy  could,  I  believe,  tell  a  curious  story  of  a  high- 
ly important  piece  of  foreign  intelligence  communicated 
by  a  Minister  to  the  Daily  Neius,  of  a  resulting  question 
in  the  House  of  Commons,  and  of  the  same  Minister's 
emphatic  declaration  that  no  effort  should  be  wanting 
to  trace  this  violator  of  official  confidence  and  bring  him 
to  condign  punishment. 

While  it  is  true  that  outsiders  sometimes  become 
possessed  by  these  dodges  of  official  secrets,  it  is  not  less 
true  that  Cabinet  Ministers  are  often  curiously  in  the 
dark  about  great  and  even  startling  events.  A  political 
lady  once  said  to  me  :    "Do  you  in  your  party  think 

much  of  my  neighbor,  Mr.  ?"    As  in  duty  bound, 

I  replied,  "Oh  yes,  a  great  deal."  She  rejoined:  "I 
shouldn't  have  thought  it,  for  when  the  boys  are  shout- 
ing any  startling  news  in  the  special  editions  I  see  him 
run  out  without  his  hat  to  buy  an  evening  paper.  That 
doesn't  looh  tu ell  for  a  Cabinet  Minister.'^  On  the  even- 
ing of  May  6,  1882,  I  dined  in  company  with  Mr.  Bright. 
He  stayed  late,  but  never  heard  a  word  of  the  Phoenix 
Park  murders,  went  off  quietly  to  bed,  and  read  of  them 
as  news  in  the  next  morning's  Observer. 

But,  after  all,  attendance  at  the  Cabinet,  though  a 
most  important,  is  only  an  occasional,  event  in  the  life  of 
one  of  Her  Majesty's  Ministers.  Let  us  consider  the 
ordinary  routine  of  his  day's  work  during  the  session 

341 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

of  Parliament.  The  truly  virtuous  Minister,  we  may 
presume,  struggles  down  to  the  dining-room  to  read 
prayers  and  to  breakfast  in  the  bosom  of  his  family 
between  9  and  10  a.m.  But  the  self-indulgent  bachelor 
declines  to  be  called,  and  sleeps  his  sleep  out.  Mr.  Arthur 
Balfour  invariably  breakfasts  at  12  ;  and  more  politicians 
than  would  admit  it  consume  their  tea  and  toast  in  bed. 
Mercifully,  the  dreadful  habit  of  giving  breakfast-parties, 
though  sanctioned  by  the  memories  of  Holland  and 
Macaulay  and  Rogers  and  Houghton,  virtually  died  out 
with  the  disappearance  of  Mr.  Gladstone. 

"  Men  who  breakfast  out  are  generally  Liberals,"  says 
Lady  St.  Julians  in  Sybil,  "  Have  not  you  observed 
that  ?" 

"  I  wonder  why  ?" 

"  It  shows  a  restless,  revolutionary  mind,"  said  Lady 
Firebrace,  "that  can  settle  to  nothing,  but  must  be  run- 
ning after  gossip  the  moment  they  are  awake." 

"  Yes,"  said  Lady  St.  Julians,  ''  I  think  those  men 
who  breakfast  out,  or  who  give  breakfasts,  are  generally 
dangerous  characters  ;  at  least  I  would  not  trust  them." 

And  Lady  St.  Julians'  doctrine,  though  half  a  century 
old,  applies  with  perfect  exactness  to  those  enemies  of 
the  human  race  who  endeavor  to  keep  alive  or  to  resus- 
citate this  desperate  tradition.  Juvenal  described  the 
untimely  fate  of  the  man  who  went  into  his  bath  with 
an  undigested  peacock  in  his  system.  Scarcely  pleas- 
anter  are  the  sensations  of  the  Minister  or  the  M.P.  who 
goes  from  a  breakfast-party,  full  of  buttered  muffins  and 
broiled  salmon  to  the  sedentary  desk-work  of  his  office 
or  the  fusty  wrangles  of  a  Grand  Committee. 

Breakfast  over,  the  Minister's  fancy  lightly  turns  to 
thoughts  of  exercise.  If  he  is  a  man  of  active  habits 
and  strenuous  tastes,  he  may  take  a  gentle  breather  up 
Highgate  Hill,  like  Mr.  Gladstone,  or  play  tennis,  like 

343 


OFFICIALDOM 

Sir  Edward  Grey.  Lord  Spencer  when  in  office  might 
be  seen  any  morning  cantering  up  St.  James's  Street  on 
a  hack,  or  pounding  round  Hyde  Park  in  high  naval  de- 
bate with  Sir  Ughtred  Kay-Shuttleworth.  Lord  Eose- 
bery  drives  himself  in  a  cab ;  Mr.  Asquith  is  driven ; 
both  occasionally  survey  the  riding  world  over  the  rail- 
ings of  Rotten  Eow  ;  and  even  Lord  Salisbury  may  be 
found  prowling  about  the  Green  Park,  to  which  his 
house  in  Arlington  Street  has  a  private  access.  Mr. 
Balfour,  as  we  all  know,  is  a  devotee  of  the  cycle,  and 
his  example  is  catching  ;  but  Mr.  Chamberlain  holds  fast 
to  the  soothing  belief  that  when  a  man  has  walked  up- 
stairs to  bed  he  has  made  as  much  demand  on  his  physi- 
cal energies  as  is  good  for  him,  and  that  exercise  was 
invented  by  the  doctors  in  order  to  bring  grist  to  their 
mill. 

Whichever  of  these  examples  our  Minister  prefers  to 
follow,  his  exercise  or  his  lounge  must  be  over  by  12 
o'clock.  The  Grand  Committees  meet  at  that  hour  ;  on 
Wednesday  the  House  meets  then  ;  and,  if  he  is  not  re- 
quired by  departmental  business  to  attend  either  the 
Committee  or  the  House,  he  will  probably  be  at  his 
office  by  mid-day.  The  exterior  aspect  of  the  Govern- 
ment offices  in  Whitehall  is  sufficiently  well  known,  and 
any  peculiarities  which  it  may  present  are  referable  to 
the  fact  that  the  execution  of  an  Italian  design  was  in- 
trusted by  the  wisdom  of  Parliament  to  a  Gothic  archi- 
tect. Inside,  their  leading  characteristics  are  the  abun- 
dance and  steepness  of  the  stairs,  the  total  absence  of 
light,  and  an  atmosphere  densely  charged  with  Irish 
stew.  Why  the  servants  of  the  British  Government 
should  live  exclusively  on  this  delicacy,  and  why  its 
odors  should  prevail  with  equal  pungency  "from  morn 
to  noon,  from  noon  to  dewy  eve,"  are  matters  of  specu- 
lation too  recondite  for  a  popular  sketch  like  this. 

343 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

The  Minister's  own  room  is  probably  on  the  first  floor  ; 
perhaps  looking  into  Whitehall,  perhaps  into  the  Foreign 
Office  Square,  perhaps  on  to  the  Horse  Guards  Parade. 
It  is  a  large  room,  with  immense  windows,  and  a  fire- 
place ingeniously  contrived  to  send  all  its  heat  up  the 
chimney.  If  the  office  is  one  of  the  older  ones,  the  room 
probably  contains  some  good  pieces  of  furniture  derived 
from  a  less  penurious  age  than  ours — a  bureau  or  book- 
case of  mahogany  dark  with  years,  showing  in  its  staid 
ornamentation  traces  of  Chippendale  or  Sheraton  ;  a  big 
clock  in  a  handsome  case ;  and  an  interesting  portrait 
of  some  historic  statesmen  who  presided  over  the  de- 
partment two  centuries  ago.  But  in  the  more  modern 
offices  all  is  barren.  Since  the  late  Mr.  Ayrton  was  First 
Commissioner  of  Works  a  squalid  cheapness  has  reigned 
snj)reme.  Deal  and  paint  are  everywhere ;  doors  that 
won't  shut,  bells  that  won't  ring,  and  curtains  that  won't 
meet.  In  two  articles  alone  there  is  prodigality — books 
and  stationery.  Hansard's  Debates,  the  statutes  at 
Large,  treatises  illustrating  the  work  of  the  office,  and 
books  of  reference  innumerable  are  there  ;  and  the  sta- 
tionery shows  a  delightful  variety  of  shape,  size,  and  text- 
ure, adapted  to  every  conceivable  exigency  of  official  cor- 
respondence. 

It  is,  indeed,  in  the  item  of  stationery,  and  in  that 
alone,  that  the  grand  old  constitutional  system  of  per- 
quisites survives.  Morbidly  conscientious  Ministers 
sometimes  keep  a  supply  of  their  private  letter-paper  on 
their  office-table  and  use  it  for  their  private  correspond- 
ence. But  the  more  frankly  human  sort  write  all  their 
letters  on  official  paper.  On  whatever  paper  written. 
Ministers'  letters  go  free  from  the  office  and  the  House 
of  Commons  ;  and  certain  artful  correspondents  outside, 
knowing  that  a  letter  to  a  public  office  need  not  be 
stamped,  write  to  the  Minister  at  his  official  address  and 

344 


OFFICIALDOM 

save  their  penny.  In  days  gone  by  each  SecPOtary  of 
State  received  on  his  appointment  a  silver  inkstand, 
which  he  could  hand  down  as  a  keepsake  to  his  children. 
Mr.  Gladstone,  when  he  was  Chancellor  of  the  Excheq- 
uer, abolished  this  little  perquisite,  and  the  only  token 
of  office  which  an  outgoing  Minister  can  now  take  with 
him  is  his  despatch-box.  The  wife  of  a  Minister  who 
had  long  occupied  an  official  residence  said  with  a  pen- 
sive sigh  on  being  evicted  from  office,  "  I  hope  I  am  not 
avaricious,  but  I  must  say,  when  one  was  hanging  up 
pictures,  it  was  very  pleasant  to  have  the  Board  of 
Works'  carpenter  and  a  bag  of  the  largest  nails  for  noth- 
ing." 

The  late  Sir  William  Gregory  used  to  narrate  how, 
when  a  child,  he  was  taken  by  his  grandfather,  who  was 
Under-Secretary  for  Ireland,  to  see  the  Chief  Secretary, 
Lord  Melbourne,  in  his  official  room.  The  good-natured 
old  Whig  asked  the  boy  if  there  was  anything  in  the 
room  that  he  would  like ;  and  he  chose  a  large  stick  of 
sealing-wax.  "  That's  right,"  said  Lord  Melbourne, 
pressing  a  bundle  of  pens  into  his  hand,  "  begin  life 
early ;  all  these  things  belong  to  the  public,  and  your 
business  must  always  be  to  get  out  of  the  public  as  much 
as  you  can."  There  spoke  the  true  spirit  of  our  great 
governing  families. 

And  now  our  Minister,  seated  at  his  official  table, 
touches  his  pneumatic  bell.  His  Private  Secretary  ap- 
pears with  a  pile  of  papers,  and  the  day's  work  begins. 
That  work,  of  course,  differs  enormously  in  amount,  nat- 
ure, importance,  and  interest  with  different  offices.  To 
the  outside  world  probably  one  office  is  much  the  same 
as  another,  but  the  difference  in  the  esoteric  view  is 
wide  indeed.  When  the  Revised  Version  of  the  New 
Testament  came  out,  an  accomplished  gentleman  who 
had  once  been  Mr.  Gladstone's  Private  Secretary,  and 

345 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

had  been  appointed  by  him  to  an  important  post  in  the 
permanent  Civil  Service,  said  :  ''Mr.  Ghxdstone  I  have 
been  looking  at  the  Revised  Version,  and  I  think  it  dis- 
tinctly inferior  to  the  old  one." 

"Indeed,"  said  Mr.  Gladstone,  with  all  his  theological 
ardor  roused  at  once  ;  "  I  am  very  much  interested  to 
hear  you  say  so.     Pray  give  me  an  instance." 

"Well,"  replied  the  Permanent  Official,  "  look  at  the 
first  verse  of  the  second  chapter  of  St.  Luke.  That  verse 
used  to  run,  '  There  went  out  a  decree  from  Csesar  Au- 
gustus that  all  the  world  should  be  taxed.'  Well,  I 
always  thought  that  a  splendid  idea — a  tax  levied  on  the 
whole  world  by  a  single  Act — a  grand  stroke,  worthy  of 
a  great  empire  and  an  imperial  treasury.  But  in  the  Re- 
vised Version  I  find,  '  There  went  out  a  decree  that  all 
the  world  should  be  enrolled ' — a  mere  counting  !  a  cen- 
sus !  the  sort  of  thing  the  Local  Government  Board 
could  do  !  Will  any  one  tell  me  that  the  new  version  is 
as  good  as  the  old  one  in  this  passage  ?" 

This  story  aptly  illustrates  the  sentiments  with  which 
the  more  powerful  and  more  ancient  departments  regard 
those  later  births  of  time,  the  Board  of  Trade,  the  Local 
Government  Board,  the  Board  of  Agriculture,  and  even 
the  Scotch  Office — though  this  last  is  redeemed  from  ut- 
ter contempt  by  the  irritable  patriotism  of  our  Scottish 
fellow-citizens,  and  by  the  beautiful  house  in  which  it  is 
lodged.  For  a  Minister  who  loves  an  arbitrary  and  sin- 
gle-handed authority  the  India  Office  is  the  most  attrac- 
tive of  all.  The  Secretary  of  State  for  India  is  (except 
in  financial  matters,  where  he  is  controlled  by  his  Coun- 
cil) a  pure  despot.  He  has  the  Viceroy  at  the  end  of  a 
telegraph-wire,  and  the  Queen's  three  hundred  millions 
of  Indian  subjects  under  his  thumb.  His  salary  is  not 
voted  by  the  House  of  Commons  ;  very  few  M.P.'s  care 
a  rap  about  India  ;  and  he  is  practically  free  from  Parlia- 

346 


OFFICIALDOM 

mentary  control.  The  Foreign  Office,  of  course,  is  full 
of  interest,  and  its  social  traditions  have  always  been  of 
the  most  dignified  sort  —  from  the  days  when  Mr.  Ran- 
ville-Ranville  used  to  frequent  Mrs.  Perkins's  Balls  to 
the  existing  reign  of  Sir  Thomas  Sanderson  and  Mr.  Eric 
Barriugton. 

The  Treasury  has  its  finger  in  every  departmental  pie 
except  the  Indian  one,  for  no  Minister  and  no  depart- 
ment can  carry  out  reforms  or  even  discharge  its  ordi- 
nary routine  without  public  money,  and  of  public  money 
the  Treasury  is  the  vigilant  and  inflexible  guardian.  "  I 
am  directed  to  acquaint  you  that  My  Lords  do  not  see 
their  way  to  comply  with  your  suggestion,  inasmuch  as 
to  do  so  would  be  to  open  a  serious  door."  This  delight- 
ful formula,  with  its  dread  suggestion  of  a  flippant  door 
and  all  the  mischief  to  which  it  might  lead,  is  daily  em- 
ployed to  check  the  ardor  of  Ministers  who  are  seeking 
to  advance  the  benefit  of  the  race  (including  their  own 
popularity  among  their  constituents)  by  a  judicious  ex- 
penditure of  public  money.  But  whatever  be  the  scope 
and  function  of  the  office,  and  whatever  the  nature  of 
the  work  done  there,  the  mode  of  doing  it  is  pretty  much 
the  same.  Whether  the  matter  in  question  originates  in- 
side the  office  by  some  direction  or  inquiry  of  the  chief, 
or  comes  by  letter  from  outside,  it  is  referred  to  the  par- 
ticular department  of  the  office  which  is  concerned  with 
it.  A  clerk  makes  a  careful  minute,  giving  the  facts  of 
the  case  and  the  practice  of  the  office  as  bearing  on  it. 
The  paper  is  then  sent  to  any  other  department  or  per- 
son in  the  office  that  can  possibly  have  any  concern  with 
it.  It  is  minuted  by  each,  and  it  gradually  passes  up  by 
more  or  fewer  official  gradations  to  the  Under-Secretary 
of  State,  who  reads,  or  is  supposed  to  read,  all  that  has 
been  written  on  the  paper  in  its  earlier  stages,  balances 
the  perhaps  conflicting  views  of  different  annotators,  and, 

347 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

if  the  matter  is  too  important  for  his  own  decision,  sums 
lip  in  a  minute  of  recommendation  to  the  chief.  The 
ultimate  decision,  however,  is  probably  less  affected  by 
the  Under-Secretary's  minute  than  by  the  oral  advice  of 
a  much  more  important  personage,  the  Permanent  Head 
of  the  office. 

It  would  be  beyond  my  present  scope  to  discuss  the 
composition  and  powers  of  the  permanent  Civil  Service, 
whose  chiefs  have  been,  at  least  since  the  days  of  Bage- 
hot,  recognized  as  the  real  rulers  of  this  country.  In 
absolute  knowledge  of  their  business,  in  self-denying  de- 
votion to  duty,  in  ability,  patience,  courtesy,  and  readi- 
ness to  help  the  fleeting  Political  Official,  the  permanent 
chiefs  of  the  Civil  Service  are  worthy  of  the  highest 
honor.  That  they  are  conservative  to  the  core  is  only 
to  say  that  they  are  human.  On  being  appointed  to  per- 
manent office  the  extremest  theorists,  like  the  bees  in  the 
famous  epigram,  "  cease  to  hum "  their  revolutionary 
airs,  and  settle  down  into  the  profound  conviction  that 
things  are  well  as  they  are.  All  the  more  remarkable  is 
the  entire  equanimity  with  which  the  Permanent  Official 
accepts  the  unpalatable  decision  of  a  chief  who  is  strong 
enough  to  override  him,  and  the  absolute  loyalty  with 
which  he  will  carry  out  a  policy  which  he  cordially  dis- 
approves. 

Much  of  a  Minister's  comfort  and  success  depends 
upon  his  Private  Secretary.  Some  Ministers  import  for 
this  function  a  young  gentleman  of  fashion  whom  they 
know  at  home  —  a  picturesque  butterfly  who  flits  gayly 
through  the  dusty  air  of  the  office,  making,  by  the  splen- 
dor of  his  raiment,  sunshine  in  its  shady  places,  and 
daintily  passing  on  the  work  to  unrecognized  and  unre- 
warded clerks.  But  the  better  practice  is  to  appoint  as 
Private  Secretary  one  of  the  permanent  staff  of  the  office. 
He  supplies  his  chief  with  official  information,  hunts  up 

348 


OFFICIALDOM 

necessary  references,  writes  his  letters,  and  interviews 
his  bores. 

AVhen  the  late  Lord  Ampthill  was  a  junior  clerk  in 
the  Foreign  Office,  Lord  Palmerston,  then  Foreign  Sec- 
retary, introduced  an  innovation  whereby,  instead  of  be- 
ing solemnly  summoned  by  a  verbal  message,  the  clerks 
were  expected  to  answer  his  bell.  Some  haughty  spirits 
rebelled  against  being  treated  like  footmen,  and  tried  to 
organize  resistance  ;  but  Odo  Russell,  as  he  then  was,  re- 
fused to  join  the  rebellious  movement,  saying  that  what- 
ever method  apprised  him  most  quickly  of  Lord  Pal- 
merston's  wishes  was  the  method  which  he  preferred. 
The  aggrieved  clerks  regarded  him  as  a  traitor  to  his  or- 
der— but  he  died  an  ambassador.  Trollope  described  the 
wounded  feelings  of  a  young  clerk  whose  chief  sent  him 
to  fetch  his  slippers  ;  and  in  our  own  day  a  Private  Sec- 
retary, who  had  patiently  taken  tickets  for  the  play  for 
his  chief's  daughters,  drew  the  line  when  he  was  told  to 
take  the  chief's  razors  to  be  ground.  But  such  assertions 
of  independence  are  extremely  rare,  and  as  a  rule  the 
Private  Secretary  is  the  most  cheerful  and  the  most  alert 
of  ministering  spirits. 

But  it  is  time  to  return  from  this  personal  digression 
to  the  routine  of  the  day's  work.  Among  the  most  im- 
portant of  the  morning's  duties  is  the  preparation  of 
answers  to  be  given  in  the  House  of  Commons,  and  it  is 
often  necessary  to  have  answers  ready  by  three  o'clock 
to  questions  which  have  only  appeared  that  morning  on 
the  notice-paper.  The  range  of  questions  is  infinite,  and 
all  the  resources  of  the  office  are  taxed  in  order  to  pre- 
pare answers  at  once  accurate  in  fact  and  wise  in  policy, 
to  pass  them  under  the  Minister's  review,  and  to  get  them 
fairly  copied  out  before  the  House  meets.  As  a  rule 
the  Minister,  knowing  something  of  the  temper  of  Par- 
liament, wishes  to  give  a  full,  explicit,  and  intelligible 

849 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

answer,  or  even  to  go  a  little  beyond  the  strict  terms  of 
the  question  if  he  sees  what  his  interrogator  is  driving 
at.  But  this  policy  is  abhorrent  to  the  Permanent  Offi- 
cial. The  traditions  of  the  Circumlocution  Office  are  by 
no  means  dead,  and  the  crime  of  "  wanting  to  know, 
yon  know,"  is  one  of  the  most  heinous  that  the  M.P. 
can  commit.  The  answers,  therefore,  as  prepared  for 
the  Minister  are  generally  Jejune,  often  barely  civil,  some- 
times actually  misleading.  But  the  Minister,  if  he  be  a 
wise  man,  edits  them  into  a  more  informing  shape,  and, 
after  long  and  careful  deliberation  as  to  the  probable 
effect  of  his  words  and  the  reception  which  they  will 
have  from  his  questioner,  he  sends  the  bundle  of  written 
answers  away  to  be  fair-copied  and  turns  to  his  corre- 
spondence. 

And  here  the  practice  of  Ministers  varies  exceedingly. 
Lord  Salisbury  writes  almost  everything  with  his  own 
hand.  Mr.  Balfour  dictates  to  a  short-hand  clerk.  Most 
Ministers  write  a  great  deal  by  their  Private  Secretaries. 
Letters  of  any  importance  are  usually  transcribed  into 
a  copying-book.  A  Minister  whom  I  knew  used  to  burn 
the  fragment  of  blotting-paper  with  which  he  had  blotted 
his  letter,  and  laid  it  down  as  an  axiom  that,  if  a  con- 
stituent wrote  and  asked  a  member  to  vote  for  a  partic- 
ular measure,  the  member  should  on  no  account  give  a 
more  precise  reply  than,  "  I  shall  have  great  pleasure  in 
voting  in  the  sense  you  desire."  For,  as  this  expert  ob- 
served with  great  truth,  "unless  the  constituent  has 
kept  a  copy  of  his  letter — and  the  chances  are  twenty  to 
one  against  that — there  will  be  nothing  to  prove  what 
the  sense  he  desired  was,  and  you  will  be  perfectly  safe 
in  voting  as  you  like." 

The  letters  received  by  a  Minister  are  many,  various, 
and  surprising.  Of  course  a  great  proportion  of  them 
relate  to  public  business,  and  a  considerable  number  to 

350 


OFFICIALDOM 

the  affairs  of  his  constituency.  But,  in  addition  to  all 
this,  lunatics,  cranks,  and  impostors  mark  a  Minister  for 
their  own,  and  their  applications  for  loans,  gifts,  and 
offices  of  profit  would  exhaust  the  total  patronage  of  the 
Crown  and  break  the  Bank  of  England.  When  the  day's 
official  papers  have  been  dealt  with,  answers  to  questions 
settled,  correspondence  read,  and  the  replies  written  or 
dictated,  it  is  very  likely  time  to  go  to  a  conference  on 
some  Bill  with  which  the  office  is  concerned.  This  con- 
ference will  consist  of  the  Minister  in  charge  of  the  Bill, 
two  or  three  of  his  colleagues  who  have  special  knowledge 
of  the  subject,  the  Permanent  Officials,  the  Parliamentary 
draftsman,  and  perhaps  one  of  the  Law  Officers.  At  the 
conference  the  amendments  on  the  paper  are  carefully 
discussed,  together  with  the  objects  for  which  they  were 
presumably  put  down,  their  probable  effect,  their  merits 
or  demerits,  and  the  best  mode  of  meeting  them.  An 
hour  soon  passes  in  this  kind  of  anticipatory  debate,  and 
the  Minister  is  called  away  to  receive  a  deputation. 

The  scene  is  exactly  like  that  which  Matthew  Arnold 
described  at  the  Social  Science  Congress — the  large  bare 
room,  dusty  air,  and  jaded  light,  serried  ranks  of  men 
with  bald  heads  and  women  in  spectacles ;  the  local 
M.P.,  like  Mr.  Gregsbury  in  Nicholas  NicMehy,  full  of 
affability  and  importance,  introducing  the  selected  spokes- 
men— "Our  worthy  mayor";  ''Our  leading  employer  of 
labor";  "Miss  Twoshoes,  a  philanthropic  worker  in  all 
good  causes  " — the  Minister,  profoundly  ignorant  of  the 
whole  subject,  smiling  blandly,  or  gazing  earnestly  from 
his  padded  chair  ;  the  Permanent  Official  at  his  elbow  mur- 
muring what  the  "practice  of  the  department"  has  been, 
what  his  predecessor  said  on  a  similar  occasion  ten  years 
ago,  and  why  the  object  of  the  deputation  is  equally  mis- 
chievous and  impossible ;  and  the  Minister  finally  ex- 
pressing sympathy  and  promising  earnest  consideration. 

351 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

Mr.  Bright,  though  the  laziest  of  mankind  at  official  work, 
was  the  ideal  hand  at  receiving  deputations.  Some  Min- 
isters scold  or  snub  or  harangue,  but  he  let  them  talk 
their  full,  listened  patiently,  smiled  pleasantly,  said 
very  little,  treated  the  subject  with  gravity  or  banter  as 
its  nature  required,  paid  the  introducing  member  a  com- 
pliment on  his  assiduity  and  public  spirit,  and  sent  them 
all  away  on  excellent  terms  with  themselves  and  highly 
gratified  by  their  intelligent  and  courteous  reception. 

So  far  we  have  described  our  Minister's  purely  depart- 
mental duties.  But  perhaps  the  Cabinet  meets  at  twelve, 
and  at  the  Cabinet  he  must,  to  use  Mr.  Gladstone's 
phrase,  "  throw  his  mind  into  the  common  stock  "  with 
his  fellow-Ministers,  and  take  part  in  the  discussions  and 
decisions  which  govern  the  Empire.  By  two  o'clock  or 
thereabouts  the  Cabinet  is  over.  The  labors  of  the  morn- 
ing are  now  beginning  to  tell,  and  exhausted  nature  rings 
her  luncheon-bell.  Here  again  men's  habits  widely  differ. 
If  our  Minister  has  breakfasted  late,  he  will  go  on  till 
four  or  five,  and  then  have  tea  and  toast,  and  perhaps  a 
poached  egg ;  but  if  he  is  an  early  man  he  craves  for 
nutriment  more  substantial.  He  must  not  go  out  to 
luncheon  at  a  friend's  house,  for  he  will  be  tempted  to 
eat  and  drink  too  much,  and  absence  from  official  terri- 
tory in  the  middle  of  the  day  has  a  bad  look  of  idleness 
and  self-indulgence.  The  dura  ilia  of  the  present  Duke 
of  Devonshire  could  always  cope  with  a  slice  of  the  office- 
joint,  a  hunch  of  the  office-bread,  a  glass  of  the  office- 
sherry.  But,  as  a  rule,  if  a  man  cannot  manage  to  get 
back  to  the  family  meal  in  South  Kensington  or  Caven- 
dish Square,  he  turns  into  a  club,  has  a  cutlet  and  a  glass 
of  claret,  and  goes  back  to  his  office  for  another  hour's 
work  before  going  to  the  House. 

At  3.30  questions  begin,  and  every  Minister  is  in  his 
place,  unless,  indeed,  there  is  a  Levee  or  a  Drawing-room, 

352 


OFFICIALDOM 

when  a  certain  number  of  Ministers,  besides  the  great 
Ofl&cers  of  State,  are  expected  to  be  present.  The  Min- 
ister lets  himself  into  the  House  by  a  private  door — of 
which  Ministers  alone  have  the  key — at  the  back  of  the 
Chair.  For  an  hour  and  a  half,  or  perhaps  longer,  the 
storm  of  questions  rages,  and  then  the  Minister,  if  he  is 
in  charge  of  the  Bill  under  discussion,  settles  himself  on 
the  Treasury  Bench  to  spend  the  remainder  of  the  day 
in  a  hand-to-hand  encounter  with  the  banded  forces  of 
the  Opposition,  which  will  tax  to  their  utmost  his  brain, 
nerve,  and  physical  endurance.  If,  however,  he  is  not 
directly  concerned  with  the  business,  he  goes  out  per- 
haps for  a  breath  of  air  and  a  cup  of  tea  on  the  Terrace, 
and  then  buries  himself  in  his  private  room — generally  a 
miserable  little  dog-hole  in  the  basement  of  the  House  of 
Commons — where  he  finds  a  pile  of  office-boxes,  contain- 
ing papers  which  must  be  read,  minuted,  and  returned 
to  the  office  with  all  convenient  despatch.  From  these 
labors  he  is  suddenly  summoned  by  the  shrill  ting-ting 
of  the  division-bell  and  the  raucous  bellow  of  the  police- 
man to  take  part  in  a  division.  He  rushes  upstairs  two 
steps  at  a  time,  and  squeezes  himself  into  the  House 
through  the  almost  closed  doors.  "  What  are  we  ?"  he 
shouts  to  the  Whip.  *'Ayes"  or  ''Noes"  is  the  hurried 
answer ;  and  he  stalks  through  the  lobby  to  discharge 
this  intelligent  function,  dives  down  to  his  room  again, 
only,  if  the  House  is  in  Committee,  to  be  dragged  up 
again  ten  minutes  afterwards  for  another  repetition  of 
the  same  farce,  and  so  on  indefinitely. 

It  may  be  asked  why  a  Minister  should  undergo  all 
this  worry  of  running  up  and  down  and  in  and  out, 
laying  down  his  work  and  taking  it  up  again,  dropping 
threads,  and  losing  touch,  and  wasting  time,  all  to  give 
a  purely  party  vote,  settled  for  him  by  his  colleague  in 
charge  of  the  Bill,  on  a  subject  with  which  he  is  per- 
z  353 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

Bonally  nnfamiliar.  If  the  Government  is  in  peril,  of 
course  every  vote  is  wanted  ;  but,  with  a  normal  ma- 
jority, Ministers'  votes  might  surely  be  "  taken  as  read," 
and  assumed  to  be  given  to  the  side  to  which  they  be- 
long. But  the  traditions  of  Government  require  Min- 
isters to  vote.  It  is  a  point  of  honor  for  each  man  to  be 
in  as  many  divisions  as  possible.  A  record  is  kept  of  all 
the  divisions  of  the  session  and  of  the  week,  and  a  list  is 
sent  round  every  Monday  morning  showing  in  how  many 
each  Minister  has  voted. 

The  Whips,  who  must  live  and  move  and  have  their 
being  in  the  House,  naturally  head  the  list,  and  their 
colleagues  follow  in  a  rather  uncertain  order.  A  Min- 
ister's place  in  this  list  is  mainly  governed  by  the  ques- 
tion whether  he  dines  at  the  House  or  not.  If  he  dines 
away  and  "  pairs,"  of  course  he  does  not  in  the  least 
jeopardize  his  party  or  embarrass  his  colleagues,  but 
''pairs  "are  not  indicated  in  the  list  of  divisions,  and 
as  divisions  have  an  awkward  knack  of  happening  be- 
tween nine  and  ten,  the  habitual  diner  -  out  naturally 
sinks  in  the  list.  If  he  is  a  married  man,  the  claims 
of  the  home  are  to  a  certain  extent  recognized  by  his 
Whirls;  but  woe  to  the  bachelor  who,  with  no  domestic 
excuse,  steals  away  for  two  hours'  relaxation.  The  good 
Minister  therefore  stays  at  the  House  and  dines  there. 
Perhaps  he  is  entertaining  ladies  in  the  crypt-like  din- 
ing-rooms which  look  on  the  Terrace,  and  in  that  case 
the  charms  of  society  may  neutralize  the  discomforts  of 
the  room  and  the  unattractive  character  of  the  food. 
But  if  he  dine  upstairs  at  the  Ministerial  table,  few  in- 
deed are  the  alleviations  of  his  lot.  In  the  first  place,  he 
must  dine  with  the  colleagues  with  whom  his  whole 
waking  life  is  passed — excellent  fellows  and  capital  com- 
pany— but  nature  demands  an  occasional  enlargement  of 
the   mental   horizon.     Then,  if  by  chance  he  has  one 

354 


OFFICIALDOM 

special  bugbear — a  bore  or  an  egotist,  a  man  with  dirty 
hands  or  a  churlish  temper — that  man  will  inevitably 
come  and  sit  down  beside  him  and  insist  on  being  affec- 
tionate and  fraternal. 

The  room  is  very  hot ;  dinners  have  been  going  on  in 
it  for  the  last  two  hours  ;  the  Kriirrj — the  odor  of  roast 
meat,  which  the  gods  loved,  but  which  most  men  dislike 
— pervades  the  atmosphere  ;  your  next-door  neighbor  is 
eating  a  rather  high  grouse  while  you  are  at  your  apple- 
tart,  or  the  perfumes  of  a  deliquescent  Camembert 
mingle  with  your  coffee.  As  to  beverages,  you  may,  if 
you  choose,  follow  the  example  of  Lord  Cross,  who,  when 
he  was  Sir  Richard,  drank  beer  in  its  native  pewter ;  or  of 
Mr.  Radcliffe  Cooke,  who  tries  to  popularize  cider  ;  or 
you  may  venture  on  that  thickest,  blackest,  and  most 
potent  of  vintages  which  a  few  years  back  still  went  by 
the  name  of  "  Mr.  Disraeli's  port."  But  as  a  rule  these 
heroic  draughts  are  eschewed  by  the  modern  Minister. 
Perhaps,  if  he  is  in  good  spirits  after  making  a  success- 
ful speech  or  fighting  his  Estimates  through  Committee, 
he  will  indulge  himself  with  an  imperial  pint  of  cham- 
pagne;  but  more  often  a  whiskey -and -soda  or  a  half- 
bottle  of  Zeltinger  quenches  his  modest  thirst. 

On  "Wednesday  and  Saturday  our  Minister,  if  he  is  not 
out  of  London,  probably  dines  at  a  large  dinner-party. 
Once  a  session  he  must  dine  in  full  dress  with  the 
Speaker ;  once  he  must  dine  at  or  give  a  full-dress  din- 
ner "  to  celebrate  Her  Majesty's  birthday."  On  the  eve 
of  the  meeting  of  Parliament  he  must  dine  again  in  full 
dress  with  the  Leader  of  the  House,  to  hear  the  re- 
hearsal of  the  "gracious  Speech  from  the  Throne." 
But,  as  a  rule,  his  fate  on  Wednesday  and  Saturday  is  a 
ceremonious  banquet  at  a  colleague's  house,  and  a  party 
strictly  political  —  perhaps  the  Prime  Minister  as  the 
main  attraction,   reinforced   by  Lord  and  Lady  Deci- 

855 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

mns  Tite  -  Barnacle,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Stiltstalkiug,  Sir 
John  Taper,  and  young  Mr.  Tadpole.  A  political  din- 
ner of  thirty  colleagues,  male  and  female,  in  the  dog- 
days  is  only  a  shade  less  intolerable  than  the  greasy 
rations  and  mephitic  vapors  of  the  House  of  Commons 
dining-room. 

At  the  political  dinner,  "shop"  is  the  order  of  the  day. 
Conversation  turns  on  Brown's  successful  speech,  Jones's 
palpable  falling-off,  Robinson's  chance  of  office,  the  ex- 
planation of  a  recent  by-election,  or  the  prospects  of  an 
impending  division.  And,  to  fill  the  cup  of  boredom  to 
the  brim,  the  political  dinner  is  usually  followed  by  a  po- 
litical evening-party.  On  Saturday  the  Minister  proba- 
bly does  two  hours'  work  at  his  office  and  has  some  boxes 
sent  to  his  house,  but  the  afternoon  he  spends  in  cycling, 
or  golfing,  or  riding,  or  boating,  or  he  leaves  London  till 
Monday  morning.  On  Wednesday  he  is  at  the  House  till 
six,  and  then  escapes  for  a  breath  of  air  before  dinner. 
But  on  Monday,  Tuesday,  Thursday,  and  Friday,  as  a 
rule,  he  is  at  the  House  from  its  meeting  at  three  till  it 
adjourns  at  any  hour  after  midnight.  After  dinner  he 
smokes  and  reads  and  tries  to  work  in  his  room,  and  goes 
to  sleep  and  wakes  again,  and  towards  midnight  is  un- 
naturally lively.  Outsiders  believe  in  the  "  twelve  o'clock 
rule,"  but  insiders  know  that,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  it  is 
suspended  as  often  as  an  Irish  member  in  the  '80  Parlia- 
ment. Whoever  else  slopes  homewards,  the  Government 
must  stay.  Before  now  a  Minister  has  been  fetched  out 
of  his  bed,  to  which  he  had  surreptitiously  retired,  by  a 
messenger  in  a  hansom,  and  taken  back  to  the  House  to 
defend  his  estimates  at  three  in  the  morning. 

"There  they  sit  with  ranks  unbroken,  cheering  on  the  fierce  de- 
bate, 
Till  the  sunrise  lights  them  homeward  as  they  tramp  through 
Storey's  Gate, 

356 


OFFICIALDOM 

Racked  with  headache,  pale  and  haggard,  worn  by  nights  of  end- 
less talk, 
While  the  early  sparrows  twitter  all  along  the  Birdcage  Walk." 

Some  ardent  sonls  there  are  who,  if  report  speaks  true, 
are  not  content  with  even  this  amount  of  exertion  and 
excitement,  but  finish  the  night,  or  begin  the  day,  with 
a  rubber  at  the  chib  or  even  a  turn  at  baccarat.  How- 
ever, we  are  describing  not  choice  spirits  or  chartered 
viveurs,  but  the  blameless  Minister,  whose  whole  life  dur- 
ing the  Parliamentary  session  is  the  undeviating  and  con- 
scientious discharge  of  unexciting  duty  ;  and  he,  when 
he  lays  his  head  upon  his  respectable  pillow  any  time  after 
1  A.M.,  may  surely  go  to  sleep  in  the  comfortable  con- 
sciousness that  he  has  done  a  fair  day's  work  for  a  not  ex- 
orbitant remuneration. 


XXXV 

AN  OLD   PHOTOGRAPH-BOOK 

The  diary  from  which  these  Eecollections  have  been 
gathered  dates  from  my  thirteenth  year,  and  it  has  lately 
received  some  unexpected  illustration.  In  turning  out 
the  contents  of  a  neglected  cupboard,  I  stumbled  on  an 
old  photograph-book,  which  I  filled  when  I  was  a  boy 
at  a  Public  School.  That  school  has  lately  been  de- 
scribed under  the  name  of  Lyonness,  and  the  name  will 
serve  as  well  as  another.  The  book  had  been  mislaid 
years  ago,  and  when  it  accidentally  came  to  light  a  strange 
aroma  of  old  times  seemed  still  to  hang  about  it.  Inside 
and  out  it  was  reminiscent  of  a  life  which  may  still  be 
going  on — I  never  go  to  Lyonness  now,  and  therefore  I 
cannot  tell — but  which  certainly  existed  once,  and  in 
which  I  bore  my  part.  Externally  the  book  bore  mani- 
fest traces  of  a  schoolboy's  ownership,  in  broken  corners, 
plentiful  ink -stains;  from  exercises  and  punishments; 
droppings  of  illicit  candle-grease,  consumed  long  after 
curfew-time ;  round  marks  like  fairy-rings  on  a  green- 
sward, which  indicated  the  stand-point  of  extinct  jam-pots 
— where  are  those  jam-pots  now  ?  But  while  the  outside 
of  the  book  spoke  thus,  as  it  were,  by  innuendo  and  sug- 
gestion, the  inside  seemed  to  shout  with  joyous  laughter 
or  chuckle  with  irreverent  mirth  ;  or  murmured,  in  tones 
lower  perhaps,  but  certainly  not  less  distinct,  of  things 
which  were  neither  joyous  nor  amusing. 

The  book  had  been  carefully  arranged.  As  I  turned 
over  the  leaves  there  came  back  the  memory  of  holiday 

358 


AN    OLD    PUOTOGRAPlI-liOOK 

evenings  and  the  interested  questionings  of  sisters  over 
each  new  face  or  scene  ;  and  the  kind  fingers  which  did 
the  pastings-in  ;  and  the  care  with  which  we  made  por- 
trait and  landscape  fit  into  and  illustrate  one  another. 
And  what  memories,  what  impressions,  strong  and  clear 
as  yesterday's,  clung  to  each  succeeding  view  !  The  spire 
— that  "pinnacle  perched  on  a  precipice" — with  its  em- 
bosoming trees,  as  one  had  so  often  seen  it  from  the 
North-Western  Railway,  while  the  finger  of  fate,  pro- 
truding from  the  carriage  window,  pointed  it  out  with 
— ''There's  where  you  will  go  to  school."  And,  years 
later,  came  the  day  when  one  travelled  for  the  first 
time  by  a  train  which  did  not  rush  through  Lyonness 
Station  (then  how  small),  but  stopped  there,  and  dis- 
gorged its  crowd  of  boys  and  their  confusion  of  lug- 
gage, and  one's  self  among  the  rest,  and  one's  father  just 
as  excited  and  anxious  and  eager  as  his  son. 

A  scurry  for  a  seat  on  the  omnibus  or  a  tramp  uphill, 
and  we  find  ourselves  abruptly  in  the  village  street. 
Then  did  each  page  as  I  turned  it  over  bring  some  fresh 
recollections  of  one's  unspeakable  sense  of  newness  and 
desolation  ;  the  haunting  fear  of  doing  something  ludi- 
crous ;  the  morbid  dread  of  chaff  and  of  being  "  greened," 
which  even  in  my  time  had,  happily,  supplanted  the  old 
terrors  of  being  tossed  in  a  blanket  or  roasted  at  a  fire. 
Even  less,  I  venture  to  think,  was  one  thrilled  by  the 
heroic  ambitions,  the  magnificent  visions  of  struggle  and 
success,  which  stir  the  heroes  of  schoolboy-novels  on  the 
day  of  their  arrival. 

Here  was  a  view  of  the  School  Library,  with  its  patch 
of  greensward  separating  it  from  the  dust  and  trafiic  of 
the  road.  There  was  the  Old  School  with  its  Fourth 
Form  Room,  of  which  one  had  heard  so  much  that  the 
actual  sight  of  it  made  one  half  inclined  to  laugh  and 
half  to  cry  with  surprise  and  disappointment.     There 

359 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

was  the  twisting  High  Street,  with  its  precipitons  cause- 
way ;  there  was  the  faithful  presentment  of  the  fash- 
ionable "tuck-shop,"  with  two  boys  standing  in  the 
road,  and  the  leg  of  a  third  caught  by  the  camera  as  he 
hurried  past ;  and,  wandering  through  all  these  scenes 
in  the  album,  as  one  had  wandered  through  them  in  real 
life,  I  reached  at  last  my  boarding-house,  then  a  place 
of  mystery  and  wonderful  expectations  and  untried  ex- 
periences ;  now  full  of  memories,  some  bright,  some  sad, 
but  all  gathering  enchantment  from  their  retrospective 
distance ;  and  in  every  brick  and  beam  and  cupboard 
and  corner  as  familiar  as  home  itself. 

The  next  picture,  a  view  of  the  School  Bathing-place, 
carried  me  a  stage  onward  in  memory,  to  my  first  sum- 
mer-quarter. Two  terms  of  school-life  had  inured  one 
to  a  new  existence,  and  one  began  to  know  the  pleasures, 
as  well  as  the  pains,  of  a  Public  School.  It  was  a  time 
of  cloudless  skies,  and  abundant  "strawberry  mashes," 
and  clolce  far  niente  in  that  sweetly  shaded  pool,  when 
the  sky  was  at  its  bluest,  and  the  air  at  its  hottest,  and 
the  water  at  its  most  inviting  temperature. 

And  then  the  Old  Speech-Eoom,  so  ugly,  so  incommo- 
dious, where  we  stood  penned  together  like  sheep  for 
the  slaughter,  under  the  gallery,  to  hear  our  fate  on  the 
first  morning  of  our  school-life,  and  where,  when  he  had 
made  his  way  up  the  school,  the  budding  scholar  re- 
ceived his  prize  or  declaimed  his  verses  on  Speech-day. 
That  was  the  crowning  day  of  the  young  orator's  ambi- 
tion, where  there  was  an  arch  of  evergreens  reared  over 
the  school  gate,  and  Lyonness  was  all  alive  with  car- 
riages, and  relations,  and  grandees, 

"And,  as  Lear,  he  pour'd  forth  the  deep  imprecation, 
By  his  daughters  of  kingdom  and  reason  deprived, 
Till,  fired  by  loud  plaudits  and  self-adulation. 
He  regarded  himself  as  a  Garrick  revived." 
360 


AN    OLD    PIIOTOGRAPH-BOOK 

Opposite  the  old  Speech-Room  was  the  interior  of  the 
Chapel,  with  its  roof  still  echoing  the  thunder  of  the 
Parting  Hymn  ;  and  the  pulpit,  with  its  unforgotten 
pleadings  for  truthfulness  and  purity  ;  and  the  organ, 
still  vocal  with  those  glorious  psalms.  And,  high  over 
all,  the  churchyard  hill,  with  its  heaven-pointing  spire, 
and  the  Poet's  Tomb ;  and,  below,  the  incomparable  ex- 
panse of  pasture  and  woodland  stretching  right  away  to 
the  "  proud  keep  with  its  double  belt  of  kindred  and 
coeval  towers/' 

"Still  does  yon  bank  its  living  hues  unfold, 
With  bloomy  wealth  of  amethyst  and  gold  ; 
How  oft  at  eve  we  watched,  while  there  we  lay, 
The  flaming  sun  lead  down  the  dying  day. 
Soothed  by  the  breeze  that  wandered  to  and  fro 
Through  the  glad  foliage  musically  low. 
Still  stands  that  tree,  and  rears  its  stately  form 
In  rugged  strength,  and  mocks  the  winter  storm  ; 
There,  while  of  slender  shade  and  sapling  growth, 
We  carved  our  schoolboy  names,  a  mutual  troth. 
All,  all,  revives  a  bliss  too  bright  to  last. 
And  every  leaflet  whispers  of  the  past." 

And  while  the  views  of  places  were  thus  eloquent  of 
the  old  days,  assuredly  not  less  so  were  the  portraits. 
There  was  the  revered  presence  of  the  Head  Master  in 
his  silken  robes,  looking  exactly  as  he  did  when 

"  In  studious  ranks  around,  the  listening  throng 
Drank  the  deep  wisdom  of  his  learned  tongue  ; 
Nor  guessed  his  love,  but  only  feared  his  power : 
A  friend  for  life — the  terror  of  an  hour." 

And  there  was  the  Mathematical  Master — the  Rev. 
Rhadamanthus  Rhomboid  —  compared  with  whom  his 
classical  namesake  was  a  lenient  judge.  An  admirable 
example  was  old  Mr.  Rhomboid  of  a  pedagogic  type  which, 
I  am  told,  is  passing  away  —  precise,  accurate,  stern, 

361 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

solid  ;  knowing  very  little,  but  that  little  thoroughly  ; 
never  overlooking  a  slip,  but  seldom  guilty  of  an  injus- 
tice ;  sternest  and  most  unbending  of  prehistoric  Tories, 
both  in  matters  political  and  educational ;  yet  carrying 
concealed  somewhere  under  the  square-cut  waistcoat  a 
heart  which  knew  how  to  sympathize  with  boy-flesh  and 
the  many  ills  which  it  is  heir  to.  Good  old  Mr.  Rhom- 
boid !     I  wonder  if  he  is  still  alive. 

Facing  him  in  the  album,  and  most  appropriately  con- 
trasted, was  the  portrait  of  a  young  master — the  em- 
bodiment of  all  that  Mr.  Rhomboid  most  heartily 
loathed.  We  will  call  him  Vivian  Grey.  Vivian  Grey 
was  an  Oxford  Double  First  of  unusual  brilliancy,  and 
therefore  found  a  special  charm  and  a  satisfying  sense 
of  being  suitably  employed  in  his  duty  at  Lyonness, 
which  was  to  instil  ruTrrw  and  Phcednis  into  the  five-and- 
thirty  little  wiseacres  who  constituted  the  lowest  form. 
Over  the  heads  of  these  sages  his  political  and  metaphy- 
sical utterances  rolled  like  harmless  thunder,  for  he  was 
at  once  a  transcendentalist  in  philosophy  and  a  utilita- 
rian Radical  of  the  purest  dye.  All  of  which  mattered 
singularly  little  to  his  five  -  and  -  thirty  disciples,  but 
caused  infinite  commotion  and  annoyance  to  the  Rhom- 
boids and  Rhadamanthuses.  Vivian  Grey  at  Oxford  had 
belonged  to  that  school  which  has  been  described  as  pro- 
fessing "  one  Kant  with  aK,  and  many  a  cant  with  a  c." 
At  Lyonness  he  was  currently  supposed  to  have  helped 
to  break  the  railings  of  Hyde  Park  and  to  be  a  Head 
Centre  of  the  Fenian  Brotherhood.  In  personal  appear- 
ance Mr.  Grey  was  bearded  like  the  pard — and  in  those 
days  the  scholastic  order  shaved — while  his  taste  in  dress 
made  it  likely  that  he  was  the  '^Man  in  the  Red  Tie" 
whom  we  remember  at  the  Oxford  Commemoration  some 
five-and-twenty  years  ago.  In  short,  he  was  the  very 
embodiment  of  all  that  was  most  abhorrent  to  the  old 

362 


AN    OLD    niOTOGKAni-BOOK 

traditions  of  the  school  -  master's  profession  ;  and  pro- 
portionately great  was  the  appositeness  of  a  practical 
joke  which  was  played  me  on  my  second  or  third  morn- 
ing at  Lyonness.  I  was  told  to  go  for  my  mathematical 
lesson  to  Mr.  Rhomboid,  who  tenanted  a  room  in  the 
Old  School.  Next  door  to  his  room  was  Mr.  Grey's,  and 
I  need  not  say  that  tlie  first  boy  whom  I  asked  for  guid- 
ance playfully  directed  me  to  the  wrong  door.  I  enter, 
and  the  Third  Form  suspend  their  Phcedrus.  "  Please, 
sir,  are  you  Mr.  Rhomboid  ?"  I  ask,  amid  unsmother- 
able  laughter.  Never  shall  I  forget  the  indignant  fe- 
rocity with  which  the  professor  of  the  new  lights  drove 
me  from  the  room,  nor  the  tranquil  austerity  with  which 
Mr.  Rhomboid,  when  I  reached  him,  set  me  ''fifty  lines" 
before  he  asked  me  my  name. 

On  the  same  page  I  find  the  portrait  of  two  men  who 
have  before  now  figured  in  the  world  of  school -fiction 
under  the  names  of  Rose  and  Gordon.  Of  Mr.  Rose  I 
will  say  no  more  than  that  he  was  an  excellent  school- 
master and  a  most  true  saint,  and  that  to  his  influence 
and  warnings  many  a  man  can,  in  the  long  retrospect, 
trace  his  escape  from  moral  ruin.  He  died  the  death  of 
the  Just — ten  years  ago.  Mr.  Gordon  is  now  a  decorous 
Dean,  but  at  Lyonness  he  was  the  most  brilliant,  the 
most  irregular,  and  the  most  fascinating  of  teachers.  He 
spoiled  me  for  a  whole  quarter.  I  loved  him  for  it  then, 
and  I  thank  him  even  now. 

These  more  distinguished  portraits,  of  cabinet  dimen- 
sions, were  scattered  up  and  down  among  the  miscella- 
neous herd  of  cartes  de  visite.  The  art  of  Messrs.  Hills 
and  Saunders  was  denoted  by  the  pretentious  character 
of  the  chairs  introduced — the  ecclesiastical  Glastonbury 
for  masters,  and  velvet-backs  studded  with  gilt  nails  for 
boys.  The  productions  of  the  rival  photographer  were 
distinguished  by  a  pillar  of  variegated  marble,  or  possi- 

363 


COLLECTIONS    AND   RECOLLECTIONS 

bly  scagliola,  on  which  the  person  portrayed  leaned,  bent, 
and  propped  himself  in  every  phase  of  graceful  discom- 
fort. The  athletes  and  members  of  the  School  Eleven, 
dressed  in  appropriate  flannel,  were  depicted  as  a  rule 
with  their  arms  crossed  over  the  backs  of  chairs,  and 
brought  very  much  into  focus,  so  as  to  display  the  mus- 
cular development  in  high  relief.  The  more  studious 
portion  of  the  community,  "  with  leaden  eye  that  loved 
the  ground,*'  scanned  small  photograph-books  with  ab- 
sorbing interest ;  while  a  group  of  editors,  of  whom  I  was 
one,  were  gathered  round  a  small  table,  with  pens,  ink, 
and  paper,  the  finger  pressed  on  the  forehead,  and  on  the 
floor  proofs  of  the  journal  which  we  edited — was  it  the 
Tyro  or  the  Triumvirate? 

Among  the  athletes  I  instantly  recognize  Biceps  Max., 
captain  of  the  Cricket  Eleven,  and  practically  autocrat 
of  my  house — "  Charity's"  the  house  was  called,  in  allu- 
sion to  a  prominent  feature  of  my  tutor's  character. 
Well,  at  Charity's  we  did  not  think  much  of  intellectual 
distinction  in  those  days,  and  little  recked  that  Biceps 
was  ''  unworthy  to  be  classed"  in  the  terminal  examina- 
tion. We  were  much  more  concerned  with  the  fact  that 
he  made  the  highest  score  at  Lord's ;  that  we  at  Chari- 
ty's were  absolutely  under  his  thumb,  in  the  most  literal 
acceptation  of  that  phrase ;  that  he  beat  us  into  mum- 
mies if  we  evaded  cricket-fagging ;  and  that  if  we  burned 
his  toast  he  chastised  us  with  a  tea-tray.  Where  is  Bi- 
ceps now,  and  what  ?  If  he  took  Orders,  I  am  sure  he 
must  be  a  Muscular  Christian  of  the  most  aggressive 
type.  If  he  is  an  Old  Bailey  barrister,  I  pity  the  timid 
witness  whom  he  cross-examines.  Why  do  I  never  meet 
him  at  the  club  or  in  society  ?  It  would  be  a  refreshing 
novelty  to  sit  at  dinner  opposite  a  man  who  corrected 
your  juvenile  shortcomings  with  a  tea-tray !  Would  he 
attempt  it  again  if  I  contradicted  him  in  conversation, 

364 


AN    OLD    PHOTOGKAril-BOOK 

or  confuted  him  in  argument,  or  capped  his  best  story 
with  a  better  ? 

Next  comes  Longbow — Old  Longbow,  as  we  called  him, 
I  suppose  as  a  term  of  endearment,  for  there  was  no 
young  Longbow.  He  was  an  Irishman,  and  the  estab- 
lished wit,  buffoon,  or  jester  of  the  school.  Innumera- 
ble stories  are  still  told  of  his  youthful  escapades,  of  his 
audacity  and  skill  in  cribbing,  of  his  dexterity  in  getting 
out  of  scrapes,  of  his  repartees  to  masters  and  persons  in 
authority.  He  it  was  who  took  up  the  same  exercise  in 
algebra  to  Mr.  Rhomboid  all  the  time  he  was  in  the  Sixth 
Form,  and  obtained  marks,  ostensibly  for  a  French  exer- 
cise, with  a  composition  called  De  camelo  qualis  sit.  He 
alone  of  created  boys  could  joke  in  the  rarefied  air  of  the 
Head  Master's  schoolroom,  and  had  power  to  "chase 
away  the  passing  frown''  with  some  audacious  witticism 
for  which  an  English  boy  would  have  been  punished. 
Longbow  was  ploughed  three  times  at  Oxford,  and  once 
rusticated.  But  he  is  now  the  very  orthodox  vicar  of  a 
West-end  parish,  a  centre  of  moral  good,  and  a  pattern 
of  ecclesiastical  propriety.  Then,  leaving  these  heroic 
figures  and  coming  to  my  own  contemporaries,  I  discern 
little  Paley,  esteemed  a  prodigy  of  parts — Paley,  who 
won  an  Entrance  Scholarship  while  still  in  knickerbock- 
ers ;  Paley,  who  ran  up  the  school  faster  than  any  boy 
on  record  ;  Paley,  who  was  popularly  supposed  never  to 
have  been  turned  in  a  "  rep  "  or  to  have  made  a  false 
quantity  ;  Paley,  for  whom  his  tutor  and  the  whole  mag- 
isterial body  were  never  tired  of  predicting  a  miraculous 
success  in  after  life.  Poor  Paley  !  He  is  at  this  moment 
languishing  in  the  Temple,  consoling  himself  for  pro- 
fessional failure  by  contemplating  the  largest  extant  col- 
lection of  Lyonness  prize-books.  I  knew  Paley,  as  boys 
say,  "at  home,"  and  when  he  had  been  a  few  years  at 
the  Bar,  I  asked  his  mother  if  he  had  got  any  briefs  yet. 

365 


COLLECTIONS  AND  RECOLLECTIONS 

**  Yes,"  slie  answered,  with  maternal  pride;  ''he  has 
been  very  lucky  in  that  way."  "And  has  he  got  a  ver- 
dict ?"  I  asked.  "  Oh  no,"  replied  the  simple  soul ; 
"we  don't  aspire  to  anything  so  grand  as  that." 

Next  to  Paley  in  my  book  is  Roderick  Random,  the 
cricketer.  Dear  Random,  my  contemporary,  my  form- 
fellow  and  house-fellow  ;  partaker  with  me  in  the  igno- 
miny of  Biceps's  tea-tray  and  the  tedium  of  Mr.  Rhom- 
boid's jsroblems ;  my  sympathetic  companion  in  every 
amusement,  and  the  pleasant  drag  on  every  intellectual 
effort — Random,  who  never  knew  a  lesson,  nor  could, 
answer  a  question  ;  who  never  could  get  up  in  time  for 
the  First  School  nor  lay  his  hand  on  his  own  Virgil — 
Random,  who  spent  more  of  his  half-holidays  in  Extra 
School  than  any  boy  of  his  day,  and  had  acquired  by 
long  practice  the  power  of  writing  the  "record"  num- 
ber of  lines  in  an  hour  ;  who  never  told  a  lie,  nor  bullied 
a  weaker  boy,  nor  dropped  an  unkind  jest,  nor  uttered 
a  shameful  word — Random,  for  whom  every  one  in  au- 
thority predicted  ruin,  speedy  and  inevitable  ;  who  is, 
therefore,  the  best  of  landlords  and  the  most  popular  of 
country  gentlemen ;  who  was  the  most  promising  officer 
in  the  Guards  till  duty  called  him  elsewhere,  and  at  the 
last  election  came  in  at  the  top  of  the  poll  for  his  native 
county. 

Then  what  shall  we  say  for  Lucian  Gay,  whose  bright 
eyes  and  curly  hair  greet  me  on  the  same  page,  with  the 
attractive  charm  which  won  me  when  we  stood  together 
under  the  Speech-room  gallery  on  the  first  morning  of 
our  school-life  ?  Gay  was  often  at  the  top  of  his  form, 
yet  sometimes  near  the  bottom ;  wrote,  apparently  by 
inspiration,  the  most  brilliant  verses  ;  and  never  could 
put  two  and  two  together  in  Mr.  Rhomboid's  schoolroom. 
He  had  the  most  astonishing  memory  on  record,  and  an 
inventive  faculty  which  often  did  him  even  better  ser- 

866 


AN    OLD    PHOTOGRAPH-BOOK 

vice.  He  was  the  sonl  of  every  intellectual  enterprise 
in  the  scliool,  the  best  speaker  at  the  Debating  Society ; 
the  best  performer  on  Speech-day ;  who  knew  nothing 
about  ye  and  less  about  /xtV  and  St ;  who  composed  satiri- 
cal choruses  when  he  should  have  been  taking  notes  on 
Tacitus  ;  edited  a  School  Journal  with  surprising  brill- 
iancy ;  failed  to  conjugate  the  verbs  in  fxi  during  hi  is 
last  fortnight  in  the  school ;  and  won  the  Balliol  Scholar- 
ship when  he  was  seventeen.  I  trust,  if  this  meets  his 
eye,  he  will  accept  it  as  a  tribute  of  affectionate  recol- 
lection from  one  who  worked  with  him,  idled  with  him, 
and  joked  with  him  for  five  happy  years. 

Under  another  face,  marked  by  a  more  spiritual  grace, 
I  find  written  Requiescat.  None  who  ever  knew  them 
will  forget  that  bright  and  pure  beauty,  those  eyes  of 
strange,  supernatural  light,  that  voice  which  thrilled 
and  vibrated  with  an  unearthly  charm.  All  who  were 
his  contemporaries  remember  that  dauntless  courage, 
that  heroic  virtue,  that  stainless  purity  of  thought  and 
speech,  before  which  all  evil  things  seemed  to  shrink 
away  abashed.  We  remember  how  the  outward  beauty 
of  body  seemed  only  the  visible  symbol  of  a  goodness 
which  dwelt  within,  and  how  moral  and  intellectual  ex- 
cellence grew  up  together,  blending  into  a  perfect  whole. 
We  remember  the  School  Concert,  and  the  enchanting 
voice,  and  the  words  of  the  song  which  afterwards 
sounded  like  a  warning  prophecy,  and  the  last  walk 
together  in  the  gloaming  of  a  June  holiday,  and  the 
loving,  thrilling  companionship,  and  the  tender  talk  of 
home.  And  then  for  a  day  or  two  we  missed  the  ac- 
customed presence,  and  dimly  caught  a  word  of  dan- 
gerous illness ;  and  then  came  the  agony  of  the  parting 
scene,  and  the  clear,  hard,  pitiless  school-bell,  cutting  on 
our  hearts  the  sense  of  an  irreparable  loss,  as  it  thrilled 
through  the  sultry  darkness  of  the  summer  night. 

367 


COLLECTIONS    AND    RECOLLECTIONS 

Here  I  shut  the  book.  And  with  the  memories  which 
that  picture  called  up  I  may  well  bring  these  Recol- 
lections to  a  close.  It  is  something  to  remember,  amid 
the  bustle  and  bitterness  of  active  life,  that  one  once 
had  youth,  and  hope,  and  eagerness,  and  large  oppor- 
tunities, and  generous  friends.  A  tender  and  regretful 
sentiment  seems  to  cling  to  the  very  walls  and  trees 
among  which  one  cherished  such  bright  ambitions  and 
felt  the  passionate  sympathy  of  such  loving  hearts. 
The  innocence  and  the  confidence  of  boyhood  pass 
away  soon  enough,  and  thrice  happy  is  he  who  has 
contrived  to  keep  "  the  young  lamb's  heart  among  the 
full-grown  flocks." 

"  O'er  twenty  leagues  of  morning  dew, 

Across  the  cheery  breezes, 
Can  fairies  fail  to  whisper  true 

What  youth  and  fancy  pleases  ? 
As  strength  decays  with  after  days, 

And  eyes  have  ceased  to  glisten. 
Those  souls  alone,  not  older  grown. 

Will  have  the  ears  to  listen. 
Keep  youth  a  guest  of  heart  and  breast. 

And  though  the  hair  be  whiter — 
Ho  ho  !  ba  ha  !    Tra  la  la  la  ! 

You  hear  them  all  the  brighter  1" 


INDEX 


Abkrcorn,  first  Marquis  of,  67,  68. 

Acton,  Lord,  154. 

Albemarle,  sixth    Earl  of,  7 ;  fifth 

Earl  of,  18. 
Albert,    Prince    Consort,    92,    202, 

205,  213,  321. 
Albert    Edward,   Prince    of    Wales 

(see  Wales). 
Alvanley,  Lord,  126,  176,  240. 
Ampthill,  Lord,  226-228,  349. 
Appleton,  Thomas,  181. 
Apponyi,  Madame,  182. 
Arbuthnot,  Mrs.,  17. 
Argyll,  Duke  and  Duchess  of,  69. 
Arnold,  Matthew,  48,  120,  126,  136, 

160,  168,   191,    220,  224,  262, 

351;  Dr.,  68. 
Atholl,  Duke  and  Duchess  of,  69. 
Aytoun,  Professor  W.  E.,  268. 

Balfour,  A.  J.,  148-149,  342,  343, 
350;  G.  W.,  172. 

Barham,  R.  H.  (Thomas  Ingolds- 
by),  189. 

Bathurst,  fifth  Earl,  8,  4,  67. 

Battenberg,  Prince  Alexander  of, 
215. 

Bayly,  Thomas  HajTies,  270. 

Beaconsfield,  Earl  of,  chap,  xxiii., 
1,  26,  30,  47,  50,  52,  69,  72, 
94,  114,  117,  120,  126,  128, 
136,  137,  140,  141,  144-145, 
153,  159,  161,  173,  177,  185, 
189,  190,  192,  194,  197,  199, 
226,  228-229,  233,  234,  285, 
327,  331,  339,  555;  Viscount- 
ess, 1,  224. 


Bedford,  Anna  Maria,  Duchess  of, 
79;  fifth  Duke  of,  56;  Ger- 
trude, Duchess  of,  54;  sixth 
Duke  of,  3,  16. 

Benson,  Dr.,  Archbishop  of  Can- 
terbury, 163. 

Benson,  Harry,  313. 

Berkeley,  fifth  Earl  of,  4. 

Berry,  the  Misses,  76. 

Birrell,  Augustine,  155-156,  253. 

Bismarck,  Count  Herbert,  186,  218. 

Blessington,  Countess  of,  182. 

Blomfield,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  London, 
61. 

Bolles,  Dame  Maria,  194. 

Bolton,  Duchess  of  87. 

Bond,  Thomas  and  Mary,  238. 

Boswell,  254. 

Bowen,  Lord,  127,  130, 178. 

Braddon,  Miss,  195. 

Bradlaugh,  Charles,  6,  327. 

Bradley,  Sarah,  205. 

Bright,  John,  26,  160,  338,  341, 
352. 

Brookfield,  Rev.  W.  H.,  142,  165- 
166. 

Brougham,  Lord,  111-112,  114,  138. 

Broughton,  Miss,  319. 

Brown,  John,  234. 

Browne,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Ely,  314. 

Browning,  Robert,  127,  131-132, 
141,  279. 

Brownrigg,  Mrs.,  263. 

Brummell,  Beau,  175.  • 

Buckinghamshire,  Albinia,  Countesa 
of,  4,  68. 

Bull,  Bishop,  chap,  i.,  294. 


3a 


369 


INDEX 


Burdett,  Sir  Francis,  6,  14,  115. 

Burgon,  Dean,  235,  266,  293. 

Burke,  Sir  Bernard,  193,  195;  Ed- 
mund, 28,  56,  73,  15,  77,  96- 
97,  108-109,  113,  117,  148, 
176. 

Bury,  Lady  Charlotte,  213. 

Butler,  Dr.,  231  ;  Bishop,  of  Lich- 
field, 278. 

Byng,  George,  115. 

Byron,  Lord,  3,  100,  196,  326. 

Calverley,  C.  S.,  270,  272,  290. 

Cambridge,  Adolphus,  Duke  of,  212 ; 
Duchess  of,  216. 

Canning,  George,  16,  112,  115,  123, 
264. 

Canterbury,  Archbishops  Benson, 
Cornwallis,  Howley,  Tait,  and 
Temple,  of  {see  those  headings). 

Carlyle,  Thomas,  48,  313. 

Carrington,  first  Lord,  58,  192. 

"  Carroll,  Lewis,"  274,  282. 

Chamberlain,  Joseph,  343. 

Charles  I.,  155,  222;  IL,  5. 

Chatham,  William  Pitt,  Earl  of,  73, 
117. 

Child,  Miss,  87. 

Chitty,  Mr.  Justice,  128. 

Church,  R.  W.,  Dean  of  St.  Paul's, 
162. 

Churchill,  Lord  Randolph,  222. 

Clarence,  Edward,  Duke  of,  204- 
205  ;  William,  Duke  of,  212. 

Cleveland,  Caroline,  Duchess  of,  4. 

Cobbett,  William,  252. 

Cobden,  F.  C,  326 ;  Richard,  26, 
121. 

Cockburn,  Sir  Alexander,  152. 

"Coke  of  Norfolk,"  first  Earl  of 
Leicester,  101. 

Coleridge,  Lord,  109,  124,  127,  129- 
130,  180;  Sir  J.  T.,  62. 

Collins,  Mabel,  168. 

Combermere,  Viscount,  17;  Viscount- 
ess, 307. 

Connaught,  Duke  of,  214;  Prince 
Arthur  of,  215. 

Cornwallis,  Dr.,  Archbishop  of  Can- 
terbury, 60. 


Corsica,  Theodore,  King  of,  239. 
Cowper  -  Temple,      W.    F.       (Lord 

Mount- Temple),  10,  50,  68. 
Coxe,  Rev.  H.  0.,  235. 
Croker,  J.  W.,  94. 
Cross,  Viscount,  197,  300,  355. 
Cumberland,    Ernest,    Duke    of,    7, 

76,    100,    104,    173,   202,   212; 

Henry  Frederick,  Duke  of,  55. 
Cuyler,  Miss,  101. 

De  Courcelles,  Rev.  J.  H.,  249. 
Delane,  J.  T.,  142,  177. 
Denison,  Archdeacon,  89,  335. 
Derby,  Earl   of,  28,  120-121,  126, 

190  ;  late  Earl  of,  78. 
De  Ros,  Lord,  81,  105. 
Devonshire,  Duke  of,  352. 
Dickens,  Charles,  257,  265,  319. 
Disraeli  {see  Beaconsfield). 
Dopping,  Colonel,  325. 
D'Orsay,  Count  Alfred,  44. 
Dowse,  Sergeant,  181. 
Dublin,       Archbishops       Plunket, 

Trench,  and  Whately,  of   {see 

those  headings). 
Duckworth,  Rev.  Dr.,  170,  330. 
Dufferin,  Marquis  of,  311-312,415- 

416;  Countess  of,  306. 
Duncombe,  Thomas,  257. 
Duudas,  Sir  David,  264. 

Eldon,  Earl  of,  15. 

Elliot,  Dr.,  Dean  of  Bristol,  161. 

Ely,  I3ishops  Browne,  Sparke,  Tur- 

ton,  and  Woodford,  of  {see  those 

headings). 
Erne,  Earl  and  Countess,  180. 
Erskine,  Lord,  97,  111,  117. 
Evarts,  Jeremiah,  181. 
Exeter,  Dr.  Philpotts,  Bishop  of,  183. 
Eyton,  Rev.  Robert,  170 

Fa'r^ener,  Dame  Harriot,  236. 
Fitzgerald,  Lady  Edward,  3. 
Fitz  Herbert,  Mrs.,  55. 
Fitzwilliam,  fourth  Earl,  293. 
Forster,  W.  E.,  120,  286,  287. 
Fox,  C.  J.,  7,  10,  66,   97-100,   103, 
110-111,  115-116,  145. 


370 


INDEX 


Frederick,  The  Emperor,  242;  The 
Empress  (Princess  Roval),  242, 
322. 

Freeman,  Professor  E.  A.,  179. 

Frere,  Sir  Bartle,  280. 

Froude,  J.  A.,  218,  286. 

Furse,  Archdeacon,  170. 

Gambetta,  287. 

Gathorne  Hardy  (Earl  of  Cran- 
brook),  179. 

George  IV.  {see  under  Kings). 

Gladstone,  W.  E.,  2,  14,  26,  34,  38, 
56,  64,  76,  84,  104,  108,  113, 
123-125,  128,  139-141,  148, 
151,  155,  167,  170,  186,  187, 
190,  203,  220,  235,  254,  255, 
257,  299,  325,  327-328,  334, 
340,  342,  345-346,  352. 

Glasse,  Hannah,  71. 

Gloucester,  Duke  of  ("  Silly  Billy  "), 
174. 

Golightly,  Rev.  C.  P.,  237,  238. 

Gore,  Rev.  Charles,  170. 

Goschen,  G.  J.,  151-152,  155. 

Gower,  Earl,  143. 

Graham,  Henry,  290. 

Grain,  Corney,  284,  297. 

Granville,  second  Earl,  127,  177. 

Grattan,  Henry,  112. 

Grenville,  Thomas,  56. 

Greville,  Charles,  176,  213. 

Grey,  Earl,  97,  104,  114;  Colonel 
Charles,  185  ;  Lady  Georgiana, 
7,  106. 

Guthrie,  Anstey,  294. 

Haig-Erown,  Dr.,  179. 

Hamilton,  Lady  Anne,  213  ;  Cecil, 
68  ;  Emma,  Lady,  5. 

Hampden,  first  Viscount,  191 ;  Dr., 
Bishop  of  Hereford,  14,  213, 
337. 

Hankey,  Thomson,  77 ;  Mrs.  Thom- 
son, 6. 

Hanover,  Ernest,  King  of,  173. 

Harcourt,  Lady  Aime,  62,  144;  Ed- 
ward, Archbishop  of  York,  62, 
144 ;  Sir  William  Vernon,  142- 
146. 


Harness,  Rev.  William,  167. 

Harte,  Bret,  256. 

Hawkins,  Edward,  D.D.,  238. 

Uayward,  Abraham,  126,  182,  199, 
254-255. 

Healy,  Timothy,  179. 

Heath,  Baron,  3. 

Hertford,  first  Marquis  of,  53  ;  third 
Marquis  of,  50. 

Hilton,  A.  C,  281. 

Hoare,  Mrs.,  6 ;  Sir  Henry,  6. 

Holland,  Sir  Henry,  M.D.,  2 ;  Rev. 
H.  S.,  170;  Lord,  10,  16,  138, 
176,  342;  Lady,  16,  176. 

Hook,  Dean,  256. 

Hope,  A.  J.  B.  Beresford,  143. 

Hope-Scott,  J.  R.,  38. 

Houghton,  Lord,  chap,  v.,  77,  126, 
158,  192,  221,  337,  342. 

Howley,  Dr.,  Archbishop  of  Can- 
terbury, 56,  59-60,  61,  77. 

Hugo,  Victor,  287. 

Hume,  David,  193. 

Huntingdon,  Selina,  Countess  of, 
57,  60,  68,  86. 

"  Ingoldsby,  Thomas  "  (R.  H.  Bar- 
ham),  189. 
Inverness,  Duchess  of,  13. 
Irving,  Sir  Henry,  167,  299. 

"  J.,  Miss,"  336-337. 
Jenkins,  Edward,  257. 
Jersey,  Countess  of,  177. 
Jessopp,  Dr.,  318. 

Johnson,  Dr.,  70,  170,  189,  263-264. 
Jowett,   Rev.   Benjamin,   171,   178, 
256. 

Keble,  John,  46,  60. 

Kent,  Duchess  of,  17,  201. 

Keppel,  Admiral,  102. 

Kidd,  Dr.,  225. 

Kings,    Ernest    of    Hanover,    173 ; 

George  IV.,  78,  105,  211-212; 

Theodore  of  Corsica,  239. 
Kingsley,  Rev.  Charles,  172;  Henry, 

319. 
Kipling,  Rudyard,  290. 
Kitchener,  Dr.,  71,  79. 


371 


INDEX 


Knox,  Alexander,  91. 
Kmitsford,  Viscount,  2. 
Kurr,  William,  413. 

LAitoucnEKE,  Henry,  153-154. 

La  Fai,  I'Abb^  de,  54. 

Lang,  Andrew,  270,  285. 

Lansdowne,  Marquis  of,  06,  138. 

Law,  Rev.  William,  86. 

Lawson,  Sir  Wilfrid,  192. 

Lear,  Edward,  283. 

Lecky,  W.  E.  H.,  84,  85,  94. 

Leecii,  John,  10,  320-321, 325;  Miss, 
320. 

Leicester,  Earl  of  ("Coke  of  Nor- 
folk "),  101. 

Lennox,  Lady  Louisa,  7,  57. 

Leo  XIIL,  42,  186. 

Lever,  Samuel,  265. 

Liddell,  H.  G.,  Dean  of  Christ 
Church,  162. 

Liddon,  Dr.,  60,  163,  295  305-306. 

Lightfoot,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Durham, 
144. 

Lily,  Mrs.,  214. 

Lincoln,  Abraham,  309. 

Lind,  Jenny,  165-166,  170. 

London,  Dr.  Blomfield,  Bishop  of,  61. 

Lowell,  127,  132-133,  306. 

Lowther,  Caroline  (Duchess  of  Cleve- 
land), 4. 

Luttrell,  Henry,  15,  126,  176. 

Lyndhurst,  Lady,  2;  Lord,  2,  119. 

Lyttelton,  Sarah,  Lady,  213. 

Lytton,  Lord,  12,  118,  120-121, 177, 
254. 

Macaulay,  Lord,  15,  46,  77,  78, 
108-109,  126,  138,  146,  159, 
176,  231,  264,  272,  342. 

M'Carthy,  Justin,  341. 

MacColI,  Rev.  Malcolm,  155,  167. 

Mackintosh,  Sir  James,  109,  126, 
129,  138,  176,  257. 

Macleod,  Rev.  Norman,  302. 

Mallock,  W.  H.,  171,  221,  256. 

Manners,  Lord  John  (Duke  of  Rut- 
land), 266-267. 

Manning,  H.  E.,  Cardinal,  chap,  iv., 
163. 


Marlborough,    third   Duke   of,    20; 

fourth  Duke  of,  22. 
Marriott,  Rev.  Charles,  184. 
Marsh,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Peterborough, 

61. 
Marten,  Henry,  263. 
Martin,  Sir  Theodore,  213,  268. 
Maude,  Capt.  Francis,  5. 
Maxse,  Lady  Caroline,  5. 
Melbourne,"  Viscount,    23,    58,    76, 

138,  176,  196,  203,  345. 
Merry,  Rev.  W.  W.,  271. 
Milnes,  R.  M.  {see  Lord  Houghton). 
"Miss  J.,"  336. 

Monk,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Gloucester,  61. 
Montefiore,  Sir  Moses,  5. 
Montgomery,  Miss,  319 ;  Robert,  159, 

231. 
Moore,  Thomas,  10,  108,  121,  178, 

269. 
More,  Hannah,  86,  88,  91. 
Morley,  John,  109,    147;   Countess 

of,  177. 
Morris,  Lord,  179. 
Motley,  J.  L.,  181. 
Mount-Temple,  Lord,  50,  58. 
Miinster,  Count  Herbert,  218. 

Napoleon  L,  9,  10, 14,  99 ;  IIL,  182, 

331. 
Newman,  Cardinal,  41-42. 
Northumberland,  Duke  and  Duchess 

of,  69. 
Norton,  Mrs.,  18,  336. 

Oaks  Widows,  the,  204-205. 
O'Coighley,  J.,  176. 
O'Connell,  Daniel,  118-119,  264. 
"  Old  Q,"  70. 
Orleans,  Duke  of,  54. 
Osborne,  Bernal,  226,  306. 
O'Sullivan,  W.  H.,  179. 

Palmerston,  Viscount,  2,  23,  27,  45, 
122-123, 192, 349;  Viscountess, 
23. 

"  Pamela,"  3. 

Parke,  Sir  James  (Lord  Wensley- 
dale),  264. 

Parker,  Lady,  64. 


372 


INDEX 


Paniell,  C.  S.,  287. 

I'aiT,  Dr.,  4,  13,  1*76. 

Pater,  Walter,  310. 

Payn,  James,  292. 

Peel,  Sir  Rol)ert  (father),  24,  117- 
118,  139,  220,  206  ;  (son),  127- 
129. 

Pembroke,  Countess  of,  9-10  ;  Earl 
of,  76. 

Philpotts,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Exeter, 
183. 

Pigott,  Miss,  55. 

Pitt,  William  (see  Chatham);  Will- 
iam (younger),  46,  69,  72,  96, 
98-99,  102,  103,  108-112,  114, 
123,   192,  340. 

Piris  IX.,  41-43,  186. 

Plunket,  Lord  Chancellor,  113. 

Pollock,  Sir  Frederick,  279. 

Popes,  Leo  Xjn.,42,  186;  Pius  IX., 
41-43,  186. 

Port,  Thomas,  239. 

Prince  Regent,  78,  105. 

Princess  Royal,  242,  322. 

Procter,  Mrs.,  3. 

"  Q,"  290. 

Queen  Victoria,  chap,  xxi.,6,  10,  17. 
18,  23,  92,  104,  139-140,  160, 
178,  184,  210,  212,  213-214, 
217,  233,  234,  260,  261,  304, 
321-322. 

Queensberry,  Duke  of  ("  Old  Q."), 
70. 

Raikes,  H.  C,  260-262. 

Raphoe,  Dr.  Twysden,  Bishop  of,  82. 

Rawlinson,  Sir  Robert,  92. 

Reynolds,  Sir  Joshua,  20. 

Rhoades,  James,  279. 

Richmond,  Rev.  Legh,  91 ;  Duchess 

of,  57. 
Ridding,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Southwell, 

248  ;  Lady  Laura,  248. 
Robinson,  Rev.  Thomas,  91. 
Rochester,  Dr.  Thorold,  Bishop  of 

{see  Thorold). 
Rogers,  Samuel,  15,  126,  176,  232, 

'  342;  Professor  Thorold,  178. 
Rosebery,  Earl  of,  88,  150-151,  343. 


RoBsetti,  D.  G.,  279. 
Rowton,  Lord,  218. 
Ruskin,  John,  147,  208-209,  230. 
Russell,  Lord  Charles,  7,  211 ;  Lord 
John  (sixtli   Duke  of  Bedford), 

3,  16  ;  Lord  John  (first  Earl 
Russell),  chap,  ii.,  3,  28,  100, 
113,  114,  121-122,  143,  190, 
214,  337;  Odo  (Lord  Ampthill), 
226-228,  349;  Lord  William, 
3  ;  William,  68  ;  Lord  Wriothes- 
ley,  314. 

Rutland,  Duke  of,  266-267. 

St.  AtTBTN,  Sir  John,  250 ;  Matilda 

Chrvsogoria,  249 ;  Rev.  W.  J., 

249'. 
St.  Leger,  J.  H.,  54. 
Salisbury,  Marquis  of,  33,  147-149, 

155,    167,    189,    218,   312,  340, 

343,  350. 
Sawbridge,  Mrs.,  87. 
Scott,  John  (Earl  of  Eldon),  15-16; 

Rev.   Thomas,  86 ;  Sir  Walter, 

4,  7,  10,  75;  William  (Lord 
Stowell),  16-16. 

Seaman,  Owen,  290. 

Seeley,  Sir  John,  172. 

Sellon,  Miss,  323. 

Seymour,  Lady  Robert,  2 ;  Sir  Ham- 
ilton, 4,  82 ;  Jane  Sheridan, 
Lailv,  175,  331-333  ;  Lord  Rob- 
ert, "53,  73,  86,  103,  108. 

Shaftesbury,  sixth  Earl  of,  20,  85; 
seventh  Earl  of,  chap,  iii.,  81, 
89,  212;  Countess  of,  22. 

Shaw-Lefevre,  Charles  (Viscount 
Eversley),  110. 

Shell,  R.  L.,  119. 

Sheppard,  Thomas,  67. 

Sherbrooke,  Viscount,  152, 178,  185. 

Sheridan,  Jane  (Lady  Seymour, 
Duchess  of  Somerset),  175,  331- 
333;  R.  B.,  97,  111,  145,  309. 

Short,  Thomas,  266. 

Shorthouse,  J.  II.,  80. 

Shuckburgh,  Lady,  331-333. 

Sibthorpe,  Colonel,  264. 

Siddons,  Mrs.,  10,  108. 

Sidney,  Sir  Philip,  197. 


373 


INDEX 


"Silly  Billv,"  174. 

Smith,  Eliza,  8 ;  Goldwin,  212;  Pro- 
fessor Henry,  178-179;  Horace, 
8 ;  Robert  (Lord  Carringtoii), 
192;  Sydney,  11,  57,  59,  62,  76, 
126,  129,  138,  145,  168,  159, 
162,  170,  206,  337. 

Somerset,  Duchess  of,  175,  331-333. 

Southey,  Robert,  263. 

Southwell,  Dr.  Ridding,  Bishop  of, 
246,  300. 

Sparke,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Ely,  62. 

Spencer,  Rev.  George,  157, 158;  Earl, 
343. 

Btaol,  Madame  de,  91,  168. 

Stanhope,  Earl,  96. 

Stanley,  Dean,  122,  160-161,266, 
311. 

Stephen,  J.  K.,  287. 

Sterling,  John,  46. 

Stirling,  Sir  Walter,  6. 

Stowell,  Lord,  15-16. 

Stuart,  Lady  Louisa,  4;  Prince 
Charles  Edward,  7. 

Sturgis,  Julian,  181. 

Sumner,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Winchester, 
61,  63. 

Sussex,  Duke  of,  100,  212. 

Sutherland,  Duchess  of,  12. 

Swinburne,  A.  C,  279. 

Tait,  Dr.,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury, 

162,  168,  217. 
Talleyrand,  Prince,  66. 
Talmash,  Lady  Bridget,  87. 
Temple,  Dr.,  Archbishop  of  Canter- 
bury, 60,  155. 
Tennyson,   Lord,  46,  145,  165,  267, 

273,  277,  279,  285. 
Thackeray,  W.  M.,  50,  90,  94,  144, 

158,   186,    189,  213,  214,  247, 

257,  267. 
Thatcher,  Thomas,  240. 
Theodore,  King  of  Corsica,  239. 
Thirl  wall,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  St.  David's, 

46. 
Thistlewood,  Arthur,  105. 
Thompson,  Dr.  (Master  of  Trinity), 

172. 
Thomson,  Archbishop,  162. 


Thorold,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Winchester, 

249,    327,    329,    333,  337;   Sir 

John,  249. 
Tighc,  Lad^  Louisa,  7,  57 ;  Mr.,  57, 

68. 
Tollemache,  Lionel,  171. 
Townsend,  Lord  John,  103. 
Trench,  Dr.,  Archbishop  of  Dublin, 

303. 
Trevelyan,  Sir  George,  51,  92,  142, 

146,  229,  268-269. 
TroUope,  Anthony,  349. 
Turton,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Ely,  314. 
Twysden,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Raphoe,  82. 
Tyndall,  Professor,  278. 

Vandeleur,  Colonel,  264. 

Vaneck,  Mrs.  and  Miss,  54. 

Van  Mildert,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Durham, 

61. 
Vaughan,  Dean,  162,  230,  231. 
Venn,  Henry,  86. 
Verner,  Colonel,  264. 
Victoria,   Her   Majesty,  Queen   (see 

under  Queen) ;  Princess  Royal, 

242,  322. 
Villiers,  C.  P.,  106,  137-139. 

Waldegrave,    Frances,    Countess, 

180. 
Wales,  Albert  Edward,   Prince   of, 

33,   205,  215,  322;  Alexandra, 

Princess  of,  205,  224 ;  George, 

Prince  of,  53-54. 
Walpole,  Horace,  70,  76. 
Watson,  William,  290. 
Wellington,  Duke  of,  7,  10,  16-18, 

67,  76,  105-106,  119,  139,  214, 

336. 
Wensleydale,  Lord,  264. 
Wesley,  Rev.  Charles,  57,  86 ;  Rev. 

John,  57,  86. 
West,  Sir  Algernon,  155. 
Westbury,  Lord,  184. 
Westcott,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Durham, 

164. 
Westmoreland,  Countess  of,  54. 
Whately,  Dr.,  Archbishop  of  Dublin, 

312. 
Whewell,  Dr.,  46. 


374 


INDEX 


Whichcote,  Sir  Thomas,  7. 

White,  Rev.  Henry,  167. 

Whitefield,  Rev.  George,  57,  69,  86. 

Wilberforce,  Rev.  Basil,  169;  Sam- 
uel, Bishop,  2,  26,  46,  48,  91, 
126, 148, 159, 160, 183-184,  213, 
302;  William,  67,  86,  88,  168. 

Wilkes,  John,  145. 

Winchester,  Bishops  Sumner, 
Tiiorold,  and  Wilberforce,  of, 
(see  those  headings). 


Woodford,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Ely,  62, 

63,  307. 
Woods,  Dr.,  172. 
Wordsworth,     William,     80,     136, 

288 
Wyke,  Sir  Charles,  173. 

York,  Edward  Harcourt,  Archbish- 
op of,  62,  144 ;  Frederick, 
Duke  of,  212. 

Young,  Arthur,  58. 


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